Thursday, May 22, 2008

Petrobras Strikes Oil (Again)

Petrobras, which recently passed GE in market cap to become the world's 5th largest company and plans to order 40 ultra-deepwater rigs at a cost of $30 billion, struck oil again the other day: Petrobras, Shell, Galp Find Oil in Pre-Salt Block.

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said it struck oil in the BM-S-8 block of the coast of Sao Paulo state.

Petrobras, in a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Galp Energia SGPS SA, found reserves in well drilled through the seabed and a layer of salt beneath seas 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) deep, according to a statement posted on the Brazilian securities regulator's Web site.

``The potential for the area is great and this well helps to show the whole pre-salt region has a great future,'' said Lucas Brendler, analyst at Geracao Futuro Investimentos SA, a Porto Alegre, Brazil-based investment bank which manages 7.6 billion reais ($4.6 billion) of stocks, including about of 1.3 billion reais of Petrobras, its largest holding. ``Still, this is only incremental data, and we'll need more news, more facts, to have a better idea of the actual size of the deposit.''

Petrobras will need to drill a second well in the Santos basin area, about 250 kilometers south of Rio de Janeiro, before the company can get a full idea of the size of the field.

As of May 14, Petrobras's well had drilled through 6,975 meters of ocean floor, according to Brazil's petroleum regulator, known as ANP.


Anaconda said...


In early seismic imaging, the salt barrier was all encompassing, an abyss that no eyes could penitrate. Represented by a solid field at the bottom of most images, labelled, "Abyssal Salt." There was no subsalt region -- truly terra incognito for all intents and purposes.

Even today, with the most advanced technology, it's difficult to get a handle on what's down there; salt absorbs and distorts energy waves, blocking a clear picture.

Yet, indications are strong that in this region beyond the salt abyss lies the largest oil deposits on Earth, on an order of magnitude larger than all, but a few of the current oil fields now producing.

To navigate on this voyage of discovery, abiotic oil geologists rely on the most advanced technology, for the advent of widespread abiotic geology, and make no mistake, but this rush beyond the salt abyss in the quest for oil, is being led by an understanding of abiotic oil geology: Tectonic plates, faults, fractures, deep-Earth in all its challenges.

And while the rewards can be great, the risks are always the same: drilling a dry hole.

For while the realization of abiotic oil means there is more oil to find, it's harder to see, and each hole is more expensive to drill. The premium is on accuracy, and reliability -- understanding the geology of the subsalt region is critical. What are the dynamics in that hellish environment. What are the charcteristics of the interaction between salt and oil at that depth?

What are the characteristics of oil at that great depth? Are there ways to improve current imaging and locating techniques.

What tools are needed to find the great riches that await the bold and courageous, the intrepid?

Abiotic oil theory is indespensible.

Anaconda said...


Geology of the Scotian Margin - Salt deformation,
Nature's Silly Putty: 200 million years of salt deformation and sediment,
John Shimeld, 2003.

Wikipedia -- Alfred Wegener
Wikipedia -- Pangaea

Understanding the salt abyss, or what is, today, commonly called the subsalt region is critical to success in exploration for ultra-deepwater petroleum. Most, if not all, of the recent huge oil discoveries off the coast of Brazil have been below this salt "barrier."

Salt to our common experience is like rock, solid. But deep in the Earth's crust there are layers of salt, which as described in the referenced article is like "silly putty." This plastic condition of salt at great depth has significant implications for abiotic oil theory.

Please Google and review "Nature's Silly Putty." This article is highly informative because of the diagrams which illustrate the salt canopy off the East coast of Canada. It's the contention of this writer that the geology off Canada's coast is potentially similar to the geology off Brazil's coast, if so, then the diagrams available in this article give a good visualzation of the salt geology off Brazil's coast.

Figure 1. provides an over view of the area in question. Notice the concentration of salt diapirs toward the bottom of the continental slope. This suggests that the salt has undergone maximum deformation in that area.

Figure 2. shows a profile of salt formations. These are shallower than where abiotic oil theory would predict large deposits of oil.

Figure 3. depicts a macro profile of the salt deformation. Notice the wave pattern, like a pushed up rug, with large, repeated, macro anticlinal rolls. It's the contention of this writer that this "pushed up rug" pattern is facilated by the soft "silly putty" salt, but also by the presence of petroleum below the salt in what is known as the subsalt region.

Petroleum would be a very powerful lubricant to promote the "pushed up rug" pattern. Downward pressure would cause the whole formation to deform into this macro-anticlinal pattern much like standing on a pile of stacked broken down corrugated boxes, the tendency is to slip down the side, as one layer of corrugated box slides over the other. This sliding can happen towards the surface or deeper in the geologic column, depending where the greatest "give" is in the column.

This causes the macro-folds seen on figure 3.

Reviewing the Wikipedia entry for Pangaea reveals that this area was the site of the ancient Caldonia mountain chain on Pangaea, see diagram of Euroamerica's formation. Repeated upheaval and fracturing, followed by eventual collaspe and subsidence, as the mountain chain gave way to the seperation of the continents some 180 million years ago, provides the possibility of ancient huge petroleum deposits. These deposits could be related to the North Sea oil deposits, as a mirror image, where the ancient land mass touched. According to abiotic oil theory, this provided a compressing and expanding action which would facilatate the rise of petroleum towards the surface from the primordial mantel.

This pattern, while not exact, may be the cause of the large subsalt petroleum deposits off of Brazil's coast.

Alfred Wegener postulated Tectonic Plate Continental Drift theory and his work was heavily drown on by the scientists developing abiotic oil theory in Russia.

In abiotic oil theory, geologic patterns are repeated along the size continuum. Oil is found in smaller anticline traps close to the surface. Abiotic theory postulates oil will be found in deeper, larger anticlinal patterns at depth. Petroleum may also be found in "oil domes" within this abyssal salt as it rises within the salt column per the laws of fluid dynamics.

Literally, the first century of petroleum exploration was just scratching the surface of the world's petroleum deposits.

Salt deformation creates huge oil trapping structures at depth.

Abiotic oil theory is the only possibility to account for the massive oil deposits found at these great depths.

Earth is an Oil Planet!