The Brazilian National Petroleum Agency (ANP) has approved the name change of the giant Lula pre-salt field in the Santos basin, reverting it back to Tupi, as the area was known before it was declared commercial years ago.

The switch takes place following a July court ordered that determined the annulment of the naming of the field as Lula.

Plaintiffs accused Petrobras of naming the field in honour of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who concluded his second term in office in December 2010, just three days after the declaration of commerciality.

Petrobras argued at the time that it was merely following the country’s guidelines for the naming of offshore fields in Brazil as marine life forms, as lula is the Portuguese word for squid.

Nevertheless, the move was seen in some quarters as blatant homage to the charismatic former leader, who was arrested in April 2019 after being sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption and money laundering crimes following the Car Wash probe involving Petrobras and others.

Lula was freed last November following a Supreme Court decision that allowed him to exhaust all appeal processes against his graft conviction.

With more than 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent in recoverable volumes, Tupi — named after an indigenous Brazilian tribe — is presently producing about 1 million barrels per day of crude via nine floating production, storage and offloading vessels.