With oil prices again reaching historic highs today of more than $113 a barrel, there are unofficial reports that a massive oil reserve may have been found in the ocean off the coast of Brazil. The drilling company involved, Petrobras, has yet to announce confirmation but National Petroleum Agency President Haroldo Lima said the reserve could have as much as 33 billion barrels of oil, making it the largest find in decades.
Petrobras played down the reports, with the second well drilling into the deposit yet to break through the salt layer under which the oil could be expected. However with biofuel production threatening food shortages in Latin America and the rest of the world, a big oil find in Brazil would come at a much needed time for fuel security.
The world’s second largest producer of oil, Russia, had falling production in the first quarter of 2008, with industry officials ‘gloomy’ about the prospects of even staying at current production levels. Global production has plateaued in recent years, with growth in production in Angola and Russia balancing falling production elsewhere. More finds like the one in Brazil, as well as increased efficiency in using the oil produced will be needed if global production begins to decline.
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The most intriguing element to the Brazilian oil discoveries is back in February when a couple of Petrobas’ hard drives and a laptop which contained information about the oil discoveries disappeared when they were in the possession of Halliburton. Brazilian police claimed corporate espionage
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