In an attempt to solve Brazil's energy crisis the state oil company Petrobas has mounted an extensive off-shore oil exploration programme.
In an attempt to solve Brazil's energy crisis the state oil company Petrobas has mounted an extensive off-shore oil exploration programme. To increase the chances of discovery foreign companies have been invited to take part in exploration on what are known as "risk contract" conditions. This means that if the company failed to find oil they have to pay for all their costs. But if oil is found Petrobas pays these costs, in exchange for taking a certain percentage of the oil. The first foreign oil company to start drilling was British Petroleum.
SYNOPSIS: Based in the port of Sao Sebastiao British Petroleum are exploring an area 160 kilometres out to sea in water about 228 metres deep.
Drilling operations started at the beginning of December. British Petroleum expect to spend 10 million U.S. dollars on the drill. They are to bore down to 4,500 metres. It should take until March.
The drilling unit is a semi-submersible platform made in the United States in 1975. The platform was towed to Brazil from Alaska, and it has a crew of 85 -- consisting of Americans, Brazilians and British. Two supply boats and a helicopter based in Sao Sebastiao service the platform..
There are now about 22 off-shore rigs searching for oil along the Brazilian coast. The latest estimates by the Ministry of Energy and Mines show that Brazil could become self-sufficient in oil by 1986 -- if the exploration and production by Petrobas and foreign oil companies is successful. In 1976 Brazil, which gets 40 per cent of its energy from oil, produced only one sixth of its total consumption.
The exact location of the BP rig is being kept secret and 15 other companies have submitted drilling proposals.