In the world of investing nothing is certain, but some companies seem a much surer bet than others. With globalization, investors are searching worldwide for places to park their money, and many are increasingly turning to the so-called "BRIC" countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China, all of which are projected to be major economic powerhouses of the 21st-century.
HRT Participações em Petróleo S.A., commonly referred to simply as HRT, is one such company.
Last October HRT raised $1.54 billion in an initial public offering. HRT has major ambitions - at the time of the IPO, HRT CEO Marcio Rocha Mello said that HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA aims to be Brazil's largest private oil and gas company within five years.
The IPO was designed to raise capital to finance oil exploration in the two crown jewels in HRT's portfolio, its concessions in Brazil's Solimoes Basin in the Amazon and offshore Namibia in southern Africa. The oil producer plans to invest $1.97 billion in Brazil and $342 million in Africa through 2014 to boost reserves. Months before the IPO, the respected oil auditing firm of Dallas-based DeGolyer & MacNaughton calculated HRT's potential reserves at the two sites at 1.5 billion barrels of oil and equivalents.
HRT has an impressive roster of personnel, as the company was founded by a group of senior geoscientists and engineers who previously held key positions at Petróleo Brasileiro S.A - Petrobras, and the Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (ANP), an independent Brazilian regulatory agency of petroleum, biofuel and natural gas.
On 12 August HRT announced plans to drill 65 exploration wells and develop production at 52 wells by the end of 2014 in a $3.14 billion expenditure program, the company said Friday and will be drilling its first wells in Brazil's Solimoes Basin and in Namibia this year. And in the meantime the company's potential reserve figures continue to rise, as DeGolyer & MacNaughton recently announced the net potential resources at HRT's two Namibian sites, Walvis and Orange, totaled 7.9 billion barrels of oil. The new estimates are based on 1,300 miles of 2D seismic data and 580 square miles of 3D seismic data acquired last year on the two offshore sites.
As for HRT's ambitions, two months ago Mello remarked, "Our dream is to reach production of 1 million barrels per day by 2020," adding that HRT…