Statoil aims for big piece of Brazil gas market

Gas target: Statoil’s Brazil country manager Paal Eitrheim

Statoil believes its two pre-salt projects will be capable of supplying between 10% and 15% of the natural gas to a growing Brazilian market in the future.

Statoil’s acquisition of operating stakes on Carcara in Santos basin block BM-S-8, and the Pao de Acucar field on Campos basin block BM-C-33, can be used to drive growth in a potentially huge but under-developed market, Statoil’s country manager Paal Eitrheim said at Rio Oil & Gas on Wednesday.

Statoil has agreed to buy a 66% stake in Carcara from Petrobras, but almost half the field extends onto open acreage.

Initial estimates point to recoverable reserves of between 1 billion and 2 billion barrels oil equivalent in Carcara as a whole.

The unlicensed part of the field is expected to be offered in a “unitisation” round that Brazil is promising to hold in 2017.

“Clearly we have ambitions to the acreage on the other side,” Eitrheim said.

Pao de Acucar is another huge pre-salt reservoir but is chiefly gas and condensates, with recoverable volumes estimated at 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The reservoir pressure on Carcara rules out re-injection so Statoil has a very large volume of gas to handle and market.

“It is too early to talk about preferred solutions but we want to sell the gas into Brazil. Statoil is a very capable gas player,” he said, listing the company’s role as Europe’s second largest supplier of gas. “We have great marketing experience.”

Eitrheim said Statoil expects to build a significant gas position in Brazil.

“The gas market here is still relatively modest in relation to the population,” he said, expressing confidence in Brazil’s current shift towards creating an effective regulatory framework for the oil and gas industry.

Brazilian authorities are poised to announce a new regulatory framework for unitisation, an important boost for Statoil’s $2.5 billion Carcara acquisition.

Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency is expected to give the green light to the deal by year-end.

Eitrheim said Carcara and Pao de Acucar can offer synergies and economy of scale for a more material business, and predicted both would come online sometime after 2020.

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