"Brazil’s oil euphoria hits reality hard": Washington Post.

WP: “When fields said to hold billions of barrels of oil were discovered off the coast here, exuberant government officials said the deep-sea prize would turn Brazil into a major energy player. More than six years later, the outlook for Brazil’s oil industry, much like the Brazilian economy itself, is more sobering. Oil production is stagnant, the state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, is hobbled by debt, and foreign oil companies are wary of investing here.”
“The country’s deep-sea bonanza has suddenly become less alluring to big, rich oil companies. Other promising energy sources have emerged around the world, including fields in Africa, tar sands in Canada and shale gas deposits unlocked by hydraulic fracturing technology, also called fracking, in the United States.
….“There were a lot of government authorities saying the reserves of Brazil were 50 billion barrels, 100 billion barrels, even 240 billion barrels, more than Saudi Arabia,” said Wagner Freire, an oil geologist who worked for 35 years at Petrobras, where he oversaw exploration and production. “Lots of wells have been drilled in the pre-salt area, and the well comes up dry.”
….“Forget about that data,” said a high-ranking official with an international financial institution who has discussed the issue with Brazilian energy officials and advised oil companies.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of relations with energy officials here, said Brazil has found no new basins since 2008 and faces the overwhelming challenge of developing the pre-salt area at a cost of $237 billion.
….The pre-salt area is producing 300,000 barrels of oil a day, far less than had been forecast. And nationwide, production remains flat.
In one stark episode that shook confidence in the oil sector, the country’s second-most important oil company, OGX, which recorded Brazil’s biggest initial public offering in 2008, declared bankruptcy in October. Most of its wells had come up dry.”