Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras expects to drill its highly anticipated maiden exploration well in the deep-water section of the country’s environmentally sensitive Foz do Amazonas basin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Petrobras exploration and production director Fernando Borges told Upstream the company first needs to carry out pre-operational tests in the area before being entitled to receive the drilling permit from federal environmental regulator Ibama.

“We are planning to run the pre-operational simulation at around October and then receive the licence to spud the well in November,” Borges said on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.