The company said that the well encountered strong shows on drilling including elevated gas, gas wetness and fluorescence within the cuttings.

Well logging shows a fluid contact within the target Upper Sag reservoir comprising a 19m gross petroleum-bearing interval overlying good quality porous water-bearing carbonates.

BP vice president for exploration in Brazil Neil Piggott said further logging operations are on-going and will need to be integrated into the overall interpretation.

"The next piece of critical appraisal work at Itaipu will focus on retrieving a high quality fluid sample plus evaluating the producibility of the reservoir," Piggott said.

The company drilled Itaipu-2 to a total depth of 4,877m in 1,420m water depth and this well delineates the discovery made in 2009-10 in the Itaipu-1 well about 7km to the northwest.

BP operates the BM-C-32 block with a 40% equity interest, while Anadarko Petroleum and Maersk Energia hold 33.3% and 26.7% interests, respectively.