October 29, 2019 / 6:52 PM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazilian oil firm Enauta eyes stakes in subsalt areas -CEO

(Adds comment, details of plans)

By Marta Nogueira

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian oil company Enauta Participações SA is looking to buy stakes in one or two offshore areas in the promising subsalt region, the company's chief executive told Reuters, aiming for up to a 25% stake in a consortium there.

The comments from Enauta CEO Lincoln Guardado in a late Monday interview underscored how even Brazil's smaller players are angling for a piece of the subsalt region, competing with oil majors in one of the world's most promising offshore areas.

"We are interested in having at least one or two subsalt areas," Guardado said ahead of an industry event in Rio de Janeiro. "That means having a stake in line with our cash flow."

He declined to discuss specific plans for the Nov. 7 bidding round for exploration and production rights in the subsalt region, where billions of barrels of oil are trapped beneath a layer of salt under the ocean floor.

Enauta, formerly known as Queiroz Galvão Exploração e Produção, is currently producing about 30,000 barrels per day from three wells in the Atlanta field off the Brazilian coast, which it operates in a 50-50 partnership with Barra Energia.

Guardado said the company was looking to invest between $1 billion and $1.5 billion to drill five to nine wells in the Atlanta field, connecting to a permanent production system likely to enter service in late 2022.

After that, around 2023 or 2024, he said the company aims to drill in a potential subsalt area within the Atlanta field. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro Writing by Brad Haynes Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky)

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