Statoil, in partnership with Repsol Sinopec and Petrobras, has made a significant high-impact oil discovery in the Pão de Açúcar area off the coast of Brazil.

The well, drilled by the Stena DrillMAX vessel, is some 195km off Rio de Janeiro state, in the BM-C-33 block of the Campos Basin.

Statoil said the Pão de Açúcar well struck a total pay of about 350m in two pre-salt accumulations, including a hydrocarbon column of 480m.

The well, located in water depths of 2,800m, flowed 5,000 barrels a day of light oil and 28.5 million cubic feet a day of gas in a choked drill stem test with very limited drawdown.

The project marks the third discovery made by the partneship in the block, following the earlier Seat and Gávea finds, and Statoil said that it confirms the area has much potential.

Statoil executive vice president for exploration Tim Dodson said: "This discovery increases our understanding of the pre-salt potential in the Campos Basin and improves our confidence in the recently acquired acreage position in the pre-salt Kwanza basin of Angola."

Statoil president for Brazil Kjetil Hove added: "The Pão discovery will become an important building block in our growth ambitions."

Repsol Sinopec holds a 35% stake as operator of the block, with partners Statoil and Petrobras holding 35% and 30%, respectively.


Image: The Pão de Açúcar well drilled by the Stena DrillMAX drillship flowed 5,000 barrels per day of light oil and 28.5 million cubic feet per day of gas. Photo: courtesy of Stena Drilling.