Brazil's National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP) foresees by the end of March the signing of an agreement with Petrobras to end the controversy involving the unification of the areas within the Parque das Baleias, in the north Campos Basin. The information was released by ANP, which recently held a public hearing to discuss the draft agreement to enable economic agents, federated entities and interested parties to submit suggestions on the subject. The controversy arose when the ANP determined the unification of the areas of the Parque das Baleias, which covers the pre-salt areas located within the BC-60 block, in the Campos Basin, but Petrobras filed an arbitration proceeding before the International Chamber of Commerce contesting the decision.
The ANP decided in February 2014 that the productive areas that make up Parque das Baleias should be considered as only one field, which would significantly increase the calculation of payment of special participation to the Union. At the time, Petrobras did not agree with the administrative decision, which led to disagreement at historic levels between agency and state operator. The special participation is a financial compensation paid by oil companies only in fields with large production volumes, unlike royalties, which affect the total production volume in all areas. Under the agreement, the ANP estimates that, in the next 20 years, the special participation in the new unified pre-salt field will be to the tune of R$25.8 billion (US$6.95 billion) in nominal values, considering the expected production curve, current oil and currency prices, investments and operational costs.
The unified area formerly known as Parque das Baleias (Image: Petrobras)
According to the ANP, the draft agreement provides that Petrobras will pay, in current amounts, approximately R$3.1 billion (US$835 million) retroactive to special interests in the giant field. Of this total, R$1.1 billion (US$296 million) will paid in full soon after the conclusion of the agreement and the remainder divided into 60 monthly installments. As a result of the need for new investments to be made under the agreement, the ANP decided in the contract draft to extend the production phase of the Novo Campo de Jubarte (New Jubarte Field) for 27 years to 2056 (initially, it would close in 2029). Petrobras recently reported that it has set aside a provision of R$3.5 billion (US$942 million) in the balance of the fourth quarter of 2018 after agreement with the ANP, to unify these fields.
New Jubarte Field
With the agreement, the new outline of the New Jubarte Field will be formed by the areas of Jubarte, Baleia Azul, Baleia Anã, Baleia Franca, parts of Cachalote and Pirambu fields, in addition to small plots - due to local area adjustments - of Caxaréu and Mangangá fields. ANP's director, Dirceu Amorelli, said in a statement issued by the agency that, with the hearing, the ANP gave transparency to the negotiations with Petrobras. "This negotiation was in arbitration, but we managed to work out an agreement. As the issue affects the state government of Espírito Santo and some municipalities, we choose to listen to those interested," he said.
Petrobras will launch this February the tender for the FPSO for the integrated system of the New Jubarte Field. The unit, the fifth contracted by the oil company for the area, will have the capacity to produce 100,000 barrels / day of oil and compress 5 million square meters / day of gas and is scheduled to start operating in 2021. The unit will also have the capacity to store 1 million barrels of oil. The charter contract will be for 22.5 years. The delivery of the new FPSO will have to be done 32 months after the signing of the letter of intent and the bidding will be conducted through the petronect system. The new FPSO will receive 19 wells, of which seven new production wells and four injection wells in the Jubarte field; two producing wells and four injectors of the FPSO P-58 - one of the main producers in operation in Brazil - and two other producing wells that are currently interconnected to the FPSO Capixaba. The wells will be interconnected individually to the FPSO through flexible ducts from their respective WCTs. A total of 280 km of flexible and umbilical ducts will be launched. The flexible ducts will be connected to the WCTs through Vertical Connection Modules. On the FPSO side the ducts will be interconnected as free catenary. All wells, including injectors, will be equipped with DHSV and producers will have gas lift systems. The unified area is believed to contain over 2 billion boe in reserves.
The main oil basins in Brazil - pre-salt polygon marked with blue line (Image: ANP)
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