Monday, May 5, 2008

Are the Tupi and Jupiter fields the real thing?

Petrobras claims that by 2009 they will be pumping oil out of the massive Tupi field, discovered off the coast of Brazil discovered last year, ahead of schedule (I must add) Let's review the figures...Petrobas claims that the Tupi oil reserve could produce 5 to 8 Billion barrels of oil. More shockingly, their have also been claims made that adjacent oil fields in the same salt layers contain another 33 Billion barrels of light sweet crude. Those are bold claims. Brazil, seems to have a lot going for it this year. A potential discovery of 41 billion barrels of oil off the coast line, and now investment grade ratings from our jeopardized and overly optimistic credit rating agencies including Fitch. The EWZ, an ETF representing Brazil's major equity indices, rallied 9% on the rating news. Similarly, Petrobras and Brazil has roared on the markets this year (reference Brazil's Sugar Loaf Oil Field and American Oil Dependence). The discovery and investment class rating seems to be thoroughly priced into the market. Even the most sincere skeptics must concede to a correlation between the events. But will these wells produce and when? The most confirming evidence I can find that these reserves are likely the real thing is that Petrobras is multiplying (many times over) its corporate bond issuance (approximately $3.6 Billion this year compared to $800 million on average) . They are betting big on themselves, and tallying up a lot of debt to finance the mobilizations. Are these Brazilian oil men falling for their own narrative fallacies, or are their hard technical indicators that they are going to become extremely rich?

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