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Shell to boost investment in Brazil

Royal Dutch Shell is to boost its investment in Brazil by billions of dollars after surpassing its forecasts for oil production in the country last year.

An oil rig being refurbished in Guanabara bay, Brazil. Photo: ALAMY
Robin Yapp

By Robin Yapp, Sao Paulo 6:54PM GMT 14 Feb 2011

The Anglo-Dutch company will drill ten new wells in the next 18 months, seven of them in the Campos Basin, around 60 miles off the coast of Espirito Santo state.

Estimates in Brazil suggested Shell will invest around $2.5bn (£1.57bn) in the next wave of drilling but the company did not confirm the figure.

Andre Araujo, the president of Shell Brazil, said: “I can only say that it will be billions of dollars.”

Shell is currently the biggest private producer of crude oil in Brazil, second only to the state-backed Petrobras.

It ended 2010 producing 95,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of oil and gas in the Parque das Conchas area of the Campos Basin and the Bijupira-Salema field, off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

Production in the Parque das Conchas, or Park of Shells, for last year beat the company’s initial estimate by 30pc. Shell has a 50pc cent stake in the project, while Petrobras has 35pc and ONGC, the Indian oil and gas company, has 15pc.

Mr Araujo told the Brazilian business newspaper Valor Economico that the area had given “an excellent performance … and that allows you to look at Brazil as a country that delivers. This is a great comfort.”

Shell also plans to drill another well in a block in the Santos Basin where it is partnered with Total and where results so far have been considered “encouraging”.

Mr Araujo is also optimistic about starting to explore inland areas in the state of Minas Gerais, where each well drilled will cost around $15m.

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