(Adds additional field details)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Petrobras said it has asked the country’s oil regulator ANP to declare Sepia Leste, part of the giant Jupiter area, commercially viable, allowing it to move to production.
The field, in a so-called subsalt area, is 80 percent owned by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the state-run oil company is formally known, and 20 percent by Portugal’s Galp Energia SGPS . The field is in an offshore area known as BM-S-24 about 250 kilometers south of Rio de Janeiro.
Sepia Leste contains an estimated 130 million barrels of recoverable oil and equivalent natural gas, Petrobras said in a statement late Thursday. That would be enough to supply all Brazil’s oil needs for about 40 days. If recovered, that oil would be worth about $5.37 billion at current market prices.
The oil is trapped far beneath the seabed below a layer of mineral salts that have trapped the petroleum in place.
Petrobras considers the field’s resources to be an extension of a reserve that extends into what is known as the Sepia field, part of an area known as the Cessão Onerosa that Petrobras purchased from Brazil in 2010 in a stock-for-oil swap.
Sepia was declared commercial in September 2014 and contains high quality medium-grade crude at 24 degrees on the American Petroleum Institute (API) scale, Petrobras said.
Petrobras said it would like to join Sepia and Sepia Leste into a single operating field that would use the same production system, reducing costs and allowing the whole area to enter production in 2019. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Andrew Hay and Ken Wills)