Petrobras to expand oil production with commencement of Equatorial Margin drilling campaign
(Bloomberg) – Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) began drilling on Saturday in the so-called Equatorial Margin as the state oil company looks to expand oil production in the promising and ecologically sensitive offshore region.
The drilling of the Pitu Oeste well, located 53 km (33 miles) off the coast of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, is expected take three to five months as Petrobras seeks more geological information about the area.
The push to explore the basins in and around the Equatorial Margin, which extends along the country’s northern coast, has already caused backlash from environmental activists and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s allies.
While Lula, as the 78-year-old leftist is known, has placed protecting the rain forest at the top of his agenda, his government also called for more resource extraction to fund its social programs.
Petrobras previously said it had received permission from Brazil’s environmental regulator Ibama to begin drilling two wells in the deepwater region.
Lead image source: Petrobras