We have been on a long technological journey since the first discoveries in deep waters.

The pre-salt discoveries are among the most important made in the world over the last decade. This 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.

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, vessels, and submarines with features that set the entire energy industry chain into motion.


Pioneering technologies
for the PRE-SALT

For the pioneering technologies that we have developed for the pre-salt, in 2015 we were awarded, for the third time, the highest recognition for technology that an oil company can get as an offshore operator: The OTC Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations, and Institutions.

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We have been producing increasingly more, and faster

Our daily oil output at the pre-salt progressed from the average of approximately 41,000 barrels per day, in 2010, to 1 million barrels per day in mid-2016, a nearly 24-fold increase.

Average output from the pre-salt

  • 2010 41,000 BPD
  • 2014 500,000 BPD
  • 2016 1 MILLION BPD

The comparison with our own output track record shows the dimensions of this result: It took 45 years, from the creation of our company, for us to reach the output of the first million barrels of oil, in 1998.

The fast growth in production proves the high productivity of the wells in operation in the pre-salt, and represents a significant milestone in the oil industry, especially because the fields are located in deep and ultradeep waters.

Number of wells x Output


Another fact that shows the high productivity of the pre-salt is the number of producer wells compared to the output volume. In 1984, we used to need 4,108 producer wells to reach 500,000 barrels per day. In the pre-salt, though, we reached double that output with only 52 wells.

Without giving up the world’s best operational practices, we have been drilling wells in the pre-salt in less and less time. The average time it takes to build a well in the Santos Basin pre-salt region, for example, dropped 71 percent between 2010 and 2016, with the progress made in knowledge about geology, with the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies, and improved design efficiency.

Mean construction time for offshore wells

  • 2010 310 DAYS
  • 2015 128 DAYS
  • 2016 89 DAYS

With the knowledge accumulated in our operations and with technological innovation, the average cost to lift pre-salt oil has dropped gradually over the past few years. From $9.1 per barrel of oil equivalent (oil + gas), in 2014, to $8.3, in 2015, and less than $8 per barrel in the first quarter of 2016.

Technology, knowledge, skills, and opportunities for the goods and services industry

The business turnover the pre-salt generates is a vector that drives the improvement of the goods and services chain, providing technologies, knowledge, professional training, and opportunities to the industry. Most technological challenges are overcome by associating the efforts of the operator and supplier technical teams, which are often supported by scholars and researchers from universities and technology centers.

Pre-salt in the Santos Basin

The output per well in the Santos Basin pre-salt cluster is well above the
oil and gas industry’s average. It adds up to about 25,000 barrels of oil
per day, on average. Of the ten highest-producing wells in Brazil, nine
are in this area. The most productive one is in the Lula field, with an
average daily flow of 36,000 barrels of oil per day. Meanwhile, Libra, one
of the largest and most promising oil and gas production projects ever
developed by the offshore industry, has reservoirs that are among the
most productive in the world, with oil columns measuring up to 400
meters thick - equivalent to the height of the Sugar Loaf, in Rio de


Understand how the pre-salt was formed

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, which is currently about 2,000 meters thick, started being formed. This layer of
salt was deposited on the accumulated organic matter, holding it there for millions of years
until thermochemical processes turned the organic layer into hydrocarbons (oil and natural