By Marta Nogueira
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 21 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell
has begun drilling the Saturn block in the Santos
pre-salt basin, the company's Brazil chief said on Thursday,
adding that Brazil faces hurdles to remain attractive in a
Brazil's No. 2 oil producer after state-run Petroleo
Brasileiro, Shell is the operator of block with a 45%
stake, along with Chevron, also at 45%, and Ecopetrol,
with 10%. The consortium won the block in a 2018 auction.
André Araujo, speaking during a live broadcast streamed by
newspaper Valor Econômico, said the company had also this year
started drilling the Gato do Mato area, operated by Shell in the
Santos Basin. He gave no details.
Araujo stressed that the global oil industry scenario is
challenging and that Brazil faces regulatory challenges to
remain attractive, with a new level of prices ahead. He said oil
firms will have to adapt to a scenario of lower investments and
"without a doubt, investments will migrate to those countries
and projects that are more attractive."
Brazil's pre-salt layer is a "strategic area of great
interest" and "extremely productive," Araujo said. But he also
said the industry would get more competitive and some players
may begin allocating investment to other forms of energy.
(Editing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Dan Grebler)