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Brazil’s offshore claims some of the world’s most prolific oil and gas regions. Predominant among them is the Santos basin, where giant petroleum deposits have been discovered below a salt layer that in places is over 2.5 km thick. In addition to the obvious challenges of reaching and completing these presalt reservoirs, drillers faced water depths over 2,000 m and locations over 300 km from shore. Nevertheless, with a prize this valuable—some estimates exceed 20 billion bbl of oil equivalent—the engineering and technology feats required were deemed worth it.
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