Brazil's state-owned energy giant Petrobras says it has confirmed the presence of significant quantities of light oil in deep waters off the country's southeastern coast.
The company said in a statement released late Monday that the high-grade oil was in the Carcara well located 230 kilometers (140 miles) from the Sao Paulo state.
The find in the 4-SPS-86B well located in the BM-S-8 block had been announced last March 20 and drilling has been underway since then to determine "the total thickness of the oil reservoirs as well as the presence of deeper zones of interest."
It is within the so-called "pre-salt" reserves, buried beneath several kilometers of ocean, bedrock and hot salt beds.
"New oil samples were collected at depths of up to 6,131 meters (19,000 feet), which have proven a good oil quality of approximately 31º API," Petrobras said, adding that the drilling has already confirmed "an oil column of over 400 meters, showing reservoirs that are mostly continuous and connected."
The well is operated by Petrobras (66 percent) in partnership with Petrogal Brasil (14 percent), Barra Energia do Brasil Petroleo and Gas Ltda. (10 percent) and Queiroz Galvão Exploração and Producao S.A. (10 percent).
The National Petroleum Agency estimates that the huge pre-salt reserves, discovered in 2006, could hold more than 100 billion barrels of high-quality recoverable crude and could turn Brazil into one of the world's top exporters.