Brazilian giant Petrobras has signed a technology co-operation agreement with specialist Foro Energy for high-power laser drilling research and development.
The programme with the Leopoldo Americo Miguez de Mello Research & Development Centre (CENPES) will focus on developing a next generation high-power laser drilling system.
The agreement between Petrobras and Foro - aimed at improving the oil giant's drilling performance in challenging pre-salt reservoirs - comes with an initial three-year term that can also be extended.
"High-power lasers have the potential to deliver step-change performance in drilling by increased rate of penetration, extremely low weight on bit and torque, thereby prolonging bit life and lower drilling cost per foot," the companies said in a statement
The agreement follows a previously signed memorandum of understanding between the two companies to collaborate on laser technology.
No financial terms were disclosed.
Houston-based Foro specialises in high-power lasers for the oil, natural gas, geothermal and mining industries. The company's hardware platform transmits high-power lasers over long distance using fiber optic cables to more efficiently drill, complete and work over wells.