Petrobras Explores Caspian Sea Energy Opportunities

Petrobras Explores Caspian Sea Energy Opportunities
Petrobras Explores Caspian Sea Energy Opportunities

Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras is willing to expand oil and gas cooperation with the National Iranian Oil Company in oil and gas-rich Caspian Sea region.  

Brazil's ambassador in Tehran, Rodrigo de Azeredo Santos, made the remark on the sidelines of a meeting with top officials at Khazar Exploration and Production Company (KEPCO) in Tehran on Thursday, IRNA reported.

Pointing to a recent meeting between Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy Fernando Coelho Filho and Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Santos noted that grounds have been prepared for expansion of collaboration with KEPCO.

Highlighting the vast experience of Petrobras in undertaking deepwater exploration and drilling projects, Santos said, "NIOC can draw on Petrobras expertise to explore oilfields in the Caspian Sea."

In the past few years, extraction of oil and gas from the Caspian Sea has risen significantly by other littoral states, but Iran's share has remained zero.

Underscoring Iran's technical expertise in implementing refinery and oil discovery projects, the official said, "Brazil has also plans to benefit from the experience of Iranian oil specialists in developing oil projects."

Expressing hope that the two sides can work in close collaboration in the near future, Santos extended an invitation to KEPCO's official to visit Petrobras and its R&D facilities.

Yousef Etemadi, deputy director of KEPCO, welcomed expansion of cooperation with Petrobras, adding that a joint meeting has been planned so that the two firms can learn about potential capacities prior to embarking on shared ventures.

According to Etemadi, KEPCO had reached an agreement with Petrobras in 2010 on developing two exploration blocks after three years of negotiations, but international sanctions forced the Brazilian company to pull back.

Traditionally an oil-producing area, the Caspian region's importance as a natural gas producer is fast growing. Most of the sea's offshore oil reserves are in the northern parts of the sea, while most of the offshore natural gas reserves are in the southern regions.

"Based on geochemical studies in the Caspian Sea, 46 geological structures have been specified, of which eight blocks top the list of NIOC priorities," he said.

In 2012, Iran discovered a new oil layer with in-place reserves of 2 billion barrels in Sardar-e Jangal oil and gas field off the shore of the northern Gilan Province in the Caspian Sea, which contains quality crude.

Energy experts believe that drillings in Sardar-e Jangal oil and gas field at a depth of 1,000 meters will not be viable due to the high costs, save for foreign companies’ partnership and private sector involvement.

Reportedly, negotiations are being held with Norwegian, British and Dutch companies as they have asked for permission to study Iran's oil and gas reserves in northern regions.

According to Gholamreza Manouchehri, a deputy at NIOC, as soon as talks come to fruition, NIOC will decide on the most economically viable proposals and sign a non-disclosure agreement for hydrocarbon studies.

Experts say that due to the abundance of gas resources in southern Iran, Iranian administrations have been rather slow in exploiting the northern fields.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints