The Petroleo Brasileiro consortium, in which Petrobas holds a 65% operating stake, has confirmed the potential for 5-8 billion barrels of recoverable light oil and natural gas in the pre-salt reservoirs of the ultra-deep Santos basin.

The new Brazilian well, 4-BRSA-711-RJS (4-RJS-647), is located 33km north-east of the pioneering I-RJS-628 drilling, the company said.

Informally known as Iracema, this third well is located in the Tupi assessment plan area, in 2,210m-deep waters some 250km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

According to Petrobras, the well confirmed the presence of good quality reservoirs and of oil similar to that found in the Tupi pioneering well, reinforcing the initial estimations for the area.

The discovery was proved via light oil (about 30º API) samplings from reservoirs located at a depth of some 5,000m.

After completing the drilling, the consortium, which also comprises BG Group (25%) and Galp Energia SGPS (10%), will continue with exploration activities at the well.

Discovered in late 2007, the Tupi field represents one of the largest and most important discoveries of recent years.