A new oil well has been discovered under 2,210 metres (6.850 feet) of water off the Brazilian coast. The new find was reported by BG Group Ltd - who are the U.K.'s third largest producer of natural gas - is 250 km from Rio de Janiro and 33 km to the northwest of the Tupi well. BG are based in my own town, Reading, and are in partnership with the Portugal based Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Galp Energia SGPS SA. Light crude has already been recovered from a drilling project that is underway already.
It is thought that Tupi is part of a larger pre-salt area which could contain 50 - 100 billion barrels of oil. It is quoted that this is enough to "supply all US needs for 7 to 13 years", but will the US get all of it and should they indeed? What about the rest of the world? Statements like this seem to me to underline the inevitable conflicts that will ensue over grabbing the world's remaining oil.
Light crude is especially precious since it is more readily refined into petrol (gasoline) than are heavier grades of oil and if this projected large quantity can be recovered it will prove a jewel, indeed. Spark ignition engines (which burn petrol) can be more easily fabricated than diesel engines which require heavier engineering and so production costs of vehicles are reduced.
Inevitably, heavier grades of oil will provide the majority of oil in the future since light crude peaked in around 2005, meaning that either new cracking technology must be implemented on a very large scale to convert heavy grades to lighter petrol fuels or future engines will be mostly of the high compression ratio, diesel, type which burn heavier hydrocarbon fractions. Since around 40% more tank-to-wheels miles are routinely extracted from diesel engines than from their spark-ignition counterpart, the latter would be the more energy efficient course of action.
Inevitably, we need to move toward energy efficiency, and not be comforted by red herrings that imply the car-profligate status quo can be maintained for much longer.
"BG Finds Oil at Another Well in Brazil's Santos Basin (Update 2)," By Guy Collins and Eduard Gismatullin: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=aa1cEmFPoCCg&refer=latin_america