Iara Oil Field

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Location Brazil.svg
Country Brazil
Region Latin America
Location/block BM S 11
Offshore/onshore Offshore
Operator Petrobras
Partners BG Group, Galp Energia
Field history
Discovery 2008
Estimated oil in place 3-4 billion BOE

Iara oil field is a large ultra-deepwater oil field located in the Santos Basin, 230 km (140 mi) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, north of Tupi field.[1][2][3] The field was named in honor of the Iara figure from Brazilian mythology. It covers an area of nearly 300 km2 (120 sq mi)[4]


The field was discovered on 7 August 2008 with an encounter of light oil which measured between 26 and 30° API. The well depth measured at 6,080 m (19,950 ft). The field is believed to hold approximately 3-4 billion barrels of light oil and natural gas.[3] This amount equals to the country internal demand of 5 years.[5] BG Group announced that the discovery was three times larger than initially expected. Due to their formations, fields in Santos Basin are very difficult and costly to exploit. Exploration costs currently stand at $35 (£20) per barrel excluding development, operating and tax expenses. The discovery of light oil which requires less processing thus making it inexpensive to produce makes Iara field an exception.[6]


BM-S-11 block which contains Iara field is operated by Petrobras with controlling 65% of the stake while BG Group holds a 25% and Galp Energia holds 10% of the share.[2][7] As per Bear Stearns estimates, the value of oil in the block ranges from $25 billion to $60 billion.[8] BM-S-11 also includes Tupi Sul, Tupi and Iracema fields.[9]


The Iara field lies below a final water depth of 6,080 m (19,950 ft) in an area which covers 800 800 kilometres (800,000 m) along Brazil's coast from Espirito Santo to Santa Catarina states. It is yet unconfirmed whether Iara is the extension of Tupi oil field since there are large unexplored areas between the two fields. According to Julio Bueno, economic policy secretary at Rio de Janeiro state, the whole area may contain as much as 70 billion barrels of crude oil which would require an estimated $600 billion to develop the fields.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Petrobras, BG and Galp find ultra-deepwater oil field offshore Brazil". E&P Magazine. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Iara Formation Tests Prove Area's Potential at 3-4B Barrels". Rigzone. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  3. ^ a b SubSeaIq Offshore Field Development
  4. ^ "Petrobras, Partners Discover Oil at Pre-Salt Iara Well Offshore Brazil". Rigzone. 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  5. ^ a b Blount, Jeb (2008-09-11). "Petrobras Oil Reserves Likely to Swell on Iara Field (Update1)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  6. ^ Sarah Arnott (2008-09-12). "BG's Brazilian oil discovery is three times larger than expected". The Independent. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  7. ^ Tom Bergin (2008-09-11). "BG says Brazil Iara field met "best expectations"". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  8. ^ Alan Clendenning (2007-11-11). "Offshore discovery could make Brazil major oil exporter". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  9. ^ "Brazil" (Press release). BG Group. 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 

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