Pre-Salt

The discoveries made in the pre-salt are among the world’s most important in the past decade. The pre-salt province comprises large accumulations of excellent quality, high commercial value light oil. A reality that puts us in a strategic position to meet the great global demand for energy.

From 2010 to 2014, the average annual daily production from the pre-salt grew almost 12 times, from an average of 42,000 barrels per day in 2010, to 492,000 barrels per day in 2014. This currently represents approximately 20 percent of our total production, and in 2018 it is expected to reach 52 percent of the Company's oil production.

To discover these reserves and operate efficiently in deep waters, we have developed our own technology and work in collaboration with suppliers, universities, and research centers. We hire drilling rigs, production platforms, ships, and submarines, with features that set the entire energy industry chain into motion.

Selo_otc_eng_hor.jpgFor the pioneering technologies we developed with partners and suppliers, we were granted in 2015, for the third time, the OTC Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations, and Institutions – the highest technology recognition an oil company can get as an offshore operator.

Important achievements

In April, our output topped 800,000 barrels per day in the pre-salt, a mere eight years after the first discovery in the region, in 2006, and only ten months after the 500,000-barrel mark, attained in June 2014. This output proves the pre-salt wells' high average production and represents a significant milestone for the oil industry, especially because the fields are located in deep and ultradeep waters.

The comparison with the Company's historical production itself gives one an idea of the dimensions of this outcome: It took 31 years to reach the 500,000-barrel-per-day mark, in 1984, with the contribution of 4,108 producing wells. In comparison with the Campos Basin, 21 years were needed to reach this same level, with the contribution of 411 producing wells.

We have drilled wells in the pre-salt in increasingly less time, always working pursuant to the best operational safety practices in the world. With the experience acquired and the introduction of new technologies, we have reduced the average well construction time at the Lula and Sapinhoá fields. The construction of the 8-LL-38D-RJS well, for example, took 92 days - a record. Another important achievement was that we reached 100 percent exploration success in the Pre-Salt cluster in the Santos Basin in 2014, i.e., we found oil in every well drilled at that province.

Employment and industry development opportunities

The volume of business created by the pre-salt drives the development of the entire goods and services chain, bringing technology, job training and great opportunities to the industry. Major good and service providers are deploying manufacturing units in Brazil and are finding space to generate technology together with research centers.

To meet the local content policy, our demand for vessels, platforms, rigs and everything that is involved in exploration and production in the pre-salt has our commitment of taking the most advantage of the domestic good and service industry's competitive capacity.

We have also created other strategic actions. Companies that are part of our supply chain, for example, can benefit from the "Progredir" Program, which facilitates access to bank credit, and from the Credit Right Investment Funds (FIDCs), an exclusive funding.

Additionally, to meet the growing demand for labor, we take part in initiatives such as the Prominp (National Oil and Natural Gas Industry Mobilization Program), which has trained upwards of 88,000 professionals. More than 200,000 professionals are expected to be trained through the program, in 185 middle level, technical, and higher education categories.

Understand how the pre-salt was formed

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The Pre-salt is a sequence of sedimentary rocks formed more than 100 million years ago in the geographic space created by the separation of the ancient Continent of Gondwana. More specifically, it was formed by the separation of the current American and African continents, a process that started about 150 million years ago. Initially, great depressions were formed between the two continents, giving rise to large lakes. Over millions of years, the rocks that would give rise to the pre-salt region's oil were deposited there. Since all the rivers on the continents that separated flew to the lower regions, large amounts of organic matter were deposited there.

As the continents strayed, the organic materials accumulating in the new space were being covered by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which was then forming. That was when the layer of salt that currently reaches 2000 meters in thickness started being formed. This layer was deposited on the accumulated organic matter, holding it there for millions of years until thermochemical processes turned it into hydrocarbons (oil and gas).

In the current Brazilian exploratory context, the possibility of the occurrence of the set of rocks with potential to generate and accumulate oil in the pre-salt layer is in the province called the pre-salt, an area measuring approximately 800 km in length and 200 km in width, off the coast between the states of Santa Catarina and Espírito Santo.

The province's reserves are located 300 km from the Southeast region, which concentrates 55 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (sum of all good and service production in Brazil). The total area of the pre-salt province (149,000 square kilometers) corresponds to almost three and a half times the state of Rio de Janeiro.