Batista oil group set to extract its first barrel

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  • Postado em 30 de janeiro, 2012

    OIL & GAS By Joe Leahy in Rio de Janeiro OGX Petróleo e Gas Participações, the oil group controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, began the final procedures to produce its first barrel of oil on Saturday, kicking off its attempt to become the country’s biggest private producer of crude.

    OGX said it had opened a well in its Waimea field off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and was injecting chemicals as a preliminary treatment before extracting first oil.

    The field is one of a series of exploration and production blocks controlled by the company that Mr Batista estimates will produce 1.4m barrels a day by 2020, about a quarter of Brazil’s forecast production that year. “This will make us into almost an Opec-size producer,” Mr Batista told the Financial Times.

    OGX’s first barrel will be an important landmark for investors in his extended oil, mining and energy empire, whose main companies are in start-up mode and have raised billions of dollars on domestic and international markets.

    Investors are in a wait-and-see mode as OGX and Mr Batista – ranked Brazil’s wealthiest and the world’s eighth-wealthiest man by Forbes, with an estimated $30bn fortune – have announced a series of giant oil discoveries in Brazil’s Campos Basin and elsewhere in the country.

    The focus is now on the company’s ability to execute its promises. OGX originally estimated first production of oil from Waimea would be last year but has delayed the start several times for technical reasons.

    In a sign of the feverish speculation surrounding the stock, OGX was the third most traded share on Brazil’s BM&FBovespa exchange last year.

    OGX shares have dropped more than 10 per cent in value since January 2011. However, they have rallied by more than 14 per cent since the start of 2012 after the company won an oil export oil licence.

    “We have a positive vision for OGX over 2012 and [stress] that the driver of short-term value of the company is related to the start of production of Waimea,” said Ativa, a Brazilian brokerage.

    Mr Batista said that even with the delays, the development of the Waimea field was still the fastest in the industry for offshore oil, occurring a little over two years after the first discovery of oil in December 2009.

    “It’s a world record from first well drilled to production on that scale, of course, for offshore,” he said.

    He said production would start with 15,000-20,000 barrels per day, rising to about 50,000 bpd by mid year. By 2020, the Campos Basin and other fields would be producing 1.4m bpd.

    Brazil’s present production of about 2.1m bpd is expected to rise to around 5.5m bpd by 2020.

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