Fast forward one year later: the company now has interest in 26 deepwater blocks across five basins, covering an area nearly the size of the U.S. state of New Jersey. In fact, with more than 2 million net acres, ExxonMobil is now one of the largest net acreage holders offshore Brazil among international companies.

What changed?

For one, recently adopted regulatory reforms are encouraging investment. But equally important is that Brazil features some of the world’s most prolific hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs – both in terms of scale and quality. This is particularly true of Brazil’s pre-salt basins, which consist of geologic formations thousands of feet beneath the seabed. They’re called pre-salt because of the high-quality reservoirs containing significant oil resources that were deposited before the overlying thick layers of salt. One example is the Carcara field, located about 200 miles offshore Rio de Janeiro. Carcara is a discovered resource in the pre-salt that’s estimated to hold more than 2 billion recoverable barrels of high-quality oil.

Brazil’s pre-salt basins check all the boxes – high exploratory well success rates, large resource volumes, high rates of recovery, and many other geological and economic characteristics not often seen together – making them high quality opportunities that enhance ExxonMobil’s global portfolio.

As 2018 draws to an end and we enter 2019, ExxonMobil is mapping out its acquired exploration blocks using 3D seismic technology. Beyond that, ExxonMobil expects to begin exploration drilling on the blocks it operates by 2020 and eventually hopes to realize the full value potential of these world-class opportunities – for us, our partners and the government and people of Brazil.

Scroll through our infographic to understand why, when it comes to Brazil, ExxonMobil is thinking big …


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