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The Lula oil field (formerly Tupi oil field) is a large oil field located in the Santos Basin, 250 kilometres (160 mi) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[2] The field was nicknamed in honor of the Tupi people and later named after the moluscus, however it is also ambiguously similar to the name of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. It is considered to be the Western Hemisphere's largest oil discovery of the last 30 years.[3]

Lula oil field is located in Brazil
Lula oil field
Location of Lula
RegionLatin America
Location/blockBM S 11
Coordinates25°30′0″S 43°30′0″W / 25.50000°S 43.50000°W / -25.50000; -43.50000Coordinates: 25°30′0″S 43°30′0″W / 25.50000°S 43.50000°W / -25.50000; -43.50000[1]
PartnersBG Group, Galp Energia
Field history
Current production of oil100,000 barrels per day (~5.0×10^6 t/a)
Recoverable oil7,500 million barrels (~10.0×10^8 t)
Producing formationsBarremian, Lower Aptian Guaratiba Formation



Brazilian President Lula da Silva on the launch of the P-52 oil Platform

The Lula field was discovered in October 2006 by Petrobras. The former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called the field second independence for Brazil.[4] The field was originally named Tupi but in 2010 it was renamed Lula. The name 'Lula' means squid in Portuguese but also refers to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.[5] The upper estimate of 8 billion barrels (1.3 billion cubic metres) of recoverable oil would be enough to meet the total global demand for crude oil for about three months at the 2008 global extraction rate of around 85 million barrels per day (13,500,000 m3/d).

In January 2008 Petrobras announced the discovery of the Jupiter field, a huge natural gas and condensate field which could equal the Lula oil field in size. It lies 37 kilometres (23 mi) east of Lula.[6]


The Lula field lies below 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) of water and then 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) of salt, sand and rocks.[3] The field was discovered in a geological formation known as the Pre-salt layer. The Lula accumulation, in block BM-S-11 of the Santos basin, contains at least 5 billion barrels (0.79 km3) of recoverable oil which could increase Brazil's reserves by 62%. This would make it twice the size of the Roncador, previously Brazil's largest field. Lula is a sub-salt discovery—held in rocks beneath a salt layer that, in places, reaches thicknesses of over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). The crude oil is an intermediate or medium gravity oil of 28–30 °API, which corresponds to a specific gravity around 0.88. The Lula crude oil is considered sweet, which means that the sulfur content is less than 0.7% sulfur by weight.

Recent estimates have pushed the total to greater than 30 billion barrels (4.8×109 cubic metres) equivalent, though Petrobras has not confirmed the highest estimate.[7] These estimates are being put into severe doubt by impartial analysts.[8]


Block BM-S-11, which contains the Lula field, is operated by Petrobras with a 65% controlling stake while BG Group holds 25% and Galp Energia has the remaining 10% interest.[3] According to Bear Stearns estimates, the value of the oil in the block ranges from $25 billion to $60 billion.[9] BM-S-11 also includes Tupi Sul, Iara and Iracema fields.[10]


On April 22, 2009, BW Offshore and Petrobras let up the first crude oil from test well at Lula field. The celebration ceremony for the beginning of production was held aboard the BW Cidade de Sao Vicente floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) on May 1, 2009. The president was expected to visit, but did not show up. The first producing well will provide output of 14,000 barrels per day (2,200 m3/d) while the second well is expected to produce 15,000 barrels per day (2,400 m3/d). By 2020, Petrobras expects to produce up to 500,000 barrels per day (79,000 m3/d).[11] Full field development may include up to 300 producing and injector wells, with total gross oil production reaching 1,000,000 barrels per day (160,000 m3/d) and 1 billion cubic feet (28 million cubic metres) of gas.[10][12] The drilling of the first 15 wells has cost $1 billion. It is estimated that the total field cost will come to $50–$100 billion owing to the complexity of the geological formation. Up to 12 FPSOs may be needed for full production at Lula.[13]The field produces 100,000 barrels a day (January 2013).[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Pre-Salt Reservoirs Offshore Brazil: Perspectives and Challenges" (PDF). November 2007. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  2. ^ Caminada, Carlos; Blount, Jeb (2007-11-08). "Petrobras' Tupi Oil Field May Hold 8 Billion Barrels (Update6)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  3. ^ a b c Jeff Flick (2009-05-01). "Petrobras Pumps First Crude from Massive Tupi Field Offshore Brazil". Rigzone. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  4. ^ "Tupi oil is 'second independence for Brazil'". Upstream Online. NHST Media Group. 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  5. ^ "Huge Brazil oil field will bear Lula's name". Reuters. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  6. ^ Duffy, Gary (2008-01-22). "'Huge' gas field found off Brazil". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  7. ^ "BG Group: Tupi could hold more than 30 billion BOE". Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  8. ^ "The Economist: Oil and Brazil, What Lies Beneath". 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
  9. ^ Alan Clendenning (2007-11-11). "Offshore discovery could make Brazil major oil exporter". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  10. ^ a b "Brazil" (Press release). BG Group. 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Petrobras' Tupi field to produce 500,000 bpd by '20". Reuters. 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  12. ^ Cortes, Katia; Marinho, Helder (2007-11-08). "Brazil's Tupi Field May Yield 1 Million Barrels a Day (Update4)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  13. ^ Offshore Technology. Tupi Oil Field. Brazil
  14. ^ "Brazil's QGEP: Carcara field wells could rival Lula's output", World Oil (01/03/2013)

External linksEdit