UPDATE 1-Petrobras declares Santos fields commercial

Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:50pm EST

(Adds details about fields, reserves and ownership)

By Jeb Blount

RIO DE JANEIRO Feb 23 (Reuters) - Petrobras , Brazil's state-controlled oil company, said on Thursday it declared the Bauna and Piracaba offshore oil fields in the Santos basin commercially viable, the final step before including them in reserves and initiating full output.

The fields contain 196.5 million barrels of light oil at 32 to 34 degrees on the American Petroleum Institute (API) scale, Petrobras said in a statement sent to Brazil's securities regulator.

That is enough to supply all U.S. needs for about 10 days and all Brazilian needs for about 75, according to BP's Satistical Review of World Energy and Reuters.

The fields are part of Petrobras' 100-percent-owned BM-S-40 block about 200 kilometers south of the coast of Brazil's Sao Paulo state and a similar distance east of Santa Catarina state, according to Petrobras and the ANP, Brazil's oil regulator.

The fields are in about 200 meters of water.

Bauna, formerly known as the Tiro prospect, contains 113.4 million barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent at 34 degrees API. Piracaba, formerly known as the Sidon prospect, holds 83.1 million barrels of oil and equivalent gas at 32 degrees API.

Petrobras also confirmed the presence of light crude oil at 27 degrees on the American Petroleum Institute (API) scale in the BM-S-9 offshore block in Santos that it owns with BG Group Plc and Respsol Sinopec .

The oil was found in a subsalt reservoir in 2,149 meters of water and 5,250 meters below the seabed. The field is about 300 kilometers south of Rio de Janeiro.

BM-S-9 is home to the Sapinhoa field, declared commercial by Petrobras in December and formerly known as the Guara prospect.

Petrobras owns 45 percent of BM-S-9 and is the operator. BG Group owns 30 percent and Repsol-Sinopec, a Spanish-Chinese joint venture controlled by Spain's Repsol owns 25 percent. (Reporting By Jeb Blount; editing by Gary Hill and Andre Grenon)

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