Santos Basin

Located in the southern portion of the Brazilian continental margin, Santos Basin covers an area of approximately in water with depths up to , from the southern coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro reaching to the north of Santa Catarina. It is geologically defined as a large depression, limited by Alto do Cabo Frio to the North and Alto de Florianópolis to the South, which makes it the most extensive of all the coastal basins in Brazil.


It is considered one of the most promising exploration and production areas in Brazil due to the discoveries in its pre-salt section over the past few years, which would elevate the region into the top ten ranking oil production regions in the world, according to specialized international publications. Owning assets in this region was a milestone reached as part of QGEP’s strategic exploration sector trajectory.

Santos Basin boasts reservoirs with excellent porosity and permeability due to its elements that favor the formation of carbonatite-biolitite reservoirs. Such peculiarities, combined with excellent sources and the efficient sealing of the salt layer, results in the accumulation of a large amount of optimum quality oil, which allows for a high success rate of exploration in this area. Disclosed data correspond to over 30 billion barrels discovered in this basin.

Preliminary research using seismic data of the region took place in the 1960s followed by the drilling of the first well in 1970. The latter part of the 1970s was characterized by a peak in exploratory activities, including the drilling of several wells by companies working under shared-risk contracts. The first hydrocarbon accumulation in Santos Basin was discovered in Merluza’s gas field in 1979. Following that, six other oil and gas fields were discovered by Petrobras by 1994 (Tubarão, Coral, Estrela do Mar, Caravela, Caravela Sul e 1-BSS-69). The late 1980s and early 1990s were characterized by an increase in exploratory drilling as a result of hydrocarbons discovery. In December 2007, 190 exploratory wells had been drilled, 100 of which by Petrobras.

From 2007 on, after approximately 30 years of exploration, Santos Basin began to garner attention both nationally and internationally after several announcements of relevant discoveries in deep water oil and gas fields made by Petrobras. The main discovery was Tupi, in Block BM-S-11, which took place in 2007 with reservoirs estimated in to of light oil. In the late 2010s, Petrobras announced the marketability of Tupi, which was from then on called Lula Field. Nowadays, Lula field produces over . Other relevant discoveries in Santos Basin include the fields of Cernambi and Sapinhoá (Guará), and the discoveries of Libra, Franco, Carcará, Carioca, Júpiter, among others. The recoverable values in these areas are estimated to surpass .

Block BS-4

With 2011’s farm-in operation, QGEP acquired for US$157.5 million the concession rights to 30% of Block BS-4, comprised of the pre-salt fields of Atlanta and Oliva, making the company its operator. These fields are in the development phase. For further information, click here.

An exploratory prospect, Piapara, was identified in this block’s pre-salt under the Atlanta field after the analysis of seismic 3D. The consortium continues to evaluate the best timing to explore it.


Last updated on 2017-10-16T15:14:00


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