Petrobras Announces Second Oil Discovery on the Equatorial Margin in Brazil

Result reinforces pressure for area exploration, a subject of dispute within the government

Rio de Janeiro

Petrobras announced on Tuesday (9) that it has found an accumulation of oil in ultra-deep waters in the Potiguar basin, on the Brazilian equatorial margin. It is the second discovery made in 2024 in the region, which is the subject of dispute between the energy and environmental sectors of the government.

It was the first time that the state-owned company found reservoirs similar to the giant discoveries in Guyana and Suriname in the region, which is expected to reinforce pressure for the release of environmental licenses in the area. Named Anhangá, the well responsible for the second discovery was drilled near the border between Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará, 190 kilometers from Fortaleza. It is 24 kilometers from the first discovery, called Pitu Oeste.

The discovery is unprecedented in the region because it was made in a type of reservoir called turbiditic. "This is what we are expecting on the equatorial margin," said geologist Pedro Zalán, who has had a career in the state-owned company. For him, the result reinforces indications that giant reserves like those of neighboring countries can be found in basins such as Barreirinhas and Foz do Amazonas, for which Petrobras has already received denials from Ibama (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources). The state-owned company emphasized in a statement that the discoveries still require evaluations to confirm their economic viability. And it reiterated its defense of oil exploration in the region, which has also faced criticism from environmental organizations in light of commitments to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

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