Petrobras Commences Franco Drilling

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Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, commenced drilling at the Franco oilfield, one of the fields the company paid Brazil's government $42.5 billion to gain access to. Franco may hold 3.1 billion barrels of crude, Bloomberg News reported, citing Brazil's oil regulator.

Petrobras (PBR) is looking to bolster its proven reserves to 35 billion barrels over the next four years as its spends $224 billion tapping into Brazil's pre-salt fields. That exploration budget, announced by the company last year, is far and away the largest among the world's oil majors.

Petrobras is adjusting its five-year investment plan to include Franco and six other fields where it bought the rights to produce 5 billion barrels last September, Bloomberg reported. The Lula field, which is also in the oil-rich Santos Basin, may hold up to 6.5 billion barrels of crude.

Petrobras is drilling at depths greater than 6,100 feet in Franco. The company is the world's largest producer of oil extracted at depths greater than 1,000 feet.