Oil discovery rocks Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) — A huge offshore oil discovery could raise Brazil’s petroleum reserves by a whopping 40 percent and boost this country into the ranks of the world’s major exporters, officials said.

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A gas station worker refuels a taxi with natural gas at a Petrobras gas station Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The government-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, said the new “ultra-deep” Tupi field could hold as much as 8 billion barrels of recoverable light crude, sending Petrobras shares soaring and prompting predictions that Brazil could join the world’s “top 10” oil producers.

Petrobras President Sergio Gabrielli said Thursday the oil from ultradeep areas, including the Tupi field, would give Brazil the world’s eighth-largest oil and gas reserves.

“Brazil’s reserves will lie somewhere between those of Nigeria and those of Venezuela,” Gabrielli said at a news conference.

Petrobras says the Tupi field, off Brazil’s southeastern Atlantic coast, has between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels — equivalent to 40 percent of all the oil ever discovered in Brazil.

Brazil’s total oil reserves currently rank 17th in the world, with 14.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Gabrielli said.

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