Petrobras propels forward with new platforms

May 1, 2014

Petrobras' demanding newbuild platform schedule proves that the Brazilian giant believes that presalt production shows no sign of slowing down. Peter Howard Wertheim delves into the details of Petrobras' plethora of platforms coming online between now and 2020.

Between 2013 and 2017, 25 platforms are scheduled to come onstream while 38 new units will start producing oil and gas in the period ranging from 2013 to 2020, said Petrobras director for Exploration and Production, José Formigli, who added that “very few companies in the world have such a demand for new units. That is because they do not have the portfolio we have,” highlighting the 100% exploration success rate in the massive oil and gas reserves in the presalt.

Formigli says that Petrobras is working to reach by 2016 an output of 2.5MMb/d from the present 2 MMb/d. By 2017, the volume should rise to 2.75 million and, in 2020, to 4.2 million. Production in barrels of oil equivalent (oil and gas, boe) is expected to reach 3 MMboe in 2016, 3.4 MMboe in 2017, and 5.2 MMboe in 2020.

He adds that the presalt will play an increasing role in that growth in production. The 1 MMb/d mark at the presalt will be surpassed in 2017, when it will account for 42% of the country’s production and reach 2.1 MMb/d in 2020. At present, output per day is of around 320,000 b/d in the presalt.

Petrobras achieved an amazing feat in 2013 when it completed construction of nine new offshore platforms. Of these nine, four are already onstream.

FPSO Cidade São Paulo is operating in the Sapinhoá pilot project, in Santos basin’s presalt, with processing capacity of 120,000bo/d and 5MMcu. m/d natural gas. The project is on schedule and is one of the largest in Santos basin. Production at the Sapinhoa field in Block BM-S-9 began in January 2013.

FPSO Cidade Itajaí is operating at the Baúna site, also in the Santos basin, with 80,000bo/d and 2 MMcu.m/d of gas processing capacity.

FPSO Cidade Paraty, operating at the Pilot project Lula NE, Santos basin, processing 120,000bo/d and 5 MMcu.m/d of natural gas.

FPSO P-63 is operating at Papa-Terra field, Campos basin, with processing capacity of 140,000bo/d and 1 MMcu. m/d gas. Wells will be connected to P-63 using flexible subsea pipes with electric heating.

The P-55 semisubmersible at Roncador III, Campos basin, has a processing capacity of 180,000bo/d and 6 MMcu.m/d of gas. At present, the company is installing the seventh of eight tendons for the P-55 platform, built at the Brasfels Shipyard in Angra dos Reis (Rio de Janeiro).

After this stage is completed, McDermott will install the topsides and conclude with anchoring the unit. The project has the support of a DP3 ship for the installation, plus two jumbo heavylift ships, and will use 9000m of tendons, eight anchoring stakes, eight flotation modules, and 130 pipe and pipeline connectors.

FPSO P-58, completed in 2013, is scheduled to come onstream 1Q 2014 at North Parque das Baleias, Campos basin. The unit’s processing capacity is of 180,000bo/d and 6 MMcu.m/d of gas. The P-58 is located about 85 km off the Espírito Santo state coast, in 1400m of water. It will be connected to 15 production wells, of which eight are pre-salt and seven are post-salt, and with 9 injection wells in the Baleia Franca, Cachalote, Jubarte, Baleia Azul, and Baleia Anã fields. This will require about 250km of flexible pipe and two underwater manifolds (to transfer the oil from the wells to the platform). The oil will be pumped into tankers, and natural gas sent by pipeline to the Cacimbas Gas Treatment Unit, in Linhares, Espírito Santo.

FPSO P-62 was completed in 2013 and has a processing capacity of 180,000bo/d and 6 MMcu.m/d of gas. The unit is now at Roncador IV field, Campos basin and is forecasted to come onstream in 2Q 2014.

P-61 operation is expected to start in 2Q 2014 in the Papa-Terra field. It was moved to Campos Basin last December, after the unit’s construction conclusion, featuring 140,000bo/d and gas compression plus 1 MMcu.m/d processing capacity. P-61 is anchored in 1200m of water and is able to inject 340,000bbl of water. The platform P-61 is also the first tension leg wellhead platform (TLWP) to be connected to 13 production wells to operate in Brazil. These wells will be drilled and completed from the unit. The hull was built and integrated at the BrasFels Shipyard in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro state. The topsides were built in Singapore. In Brazil, the work generated nearly 2450 direct jobs, 7350 indirect jobs, and achieved 67% local content.

The SS-88 type TAD (tenderassisted drilling) is a semisubmersible platform chartered by Petrobras, together with the American company BassDrill, to provide drilling and well completion services, also in the Papa-Terra field. The SS-88 TAD will work together with the P-61 production platform. The SS-88 platform was built at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. (DSIC) in China, and Superior Derrick Services (SDS) in the US. The SS-88 TAD will be anchored alongside the P-61 platform and has a modularized drilling package that will be set up on the deck of the P-61 platform. The SS-88 TAD will supply energy, provide accommodation, store drilling fluid and support systems to enable wells to be drilled from the P-61 platform. It is expected to come onstream during Q2 this year.

In the Papa-Terra field, P-61 and the TAD will work together with the FPSO P-63, which began oil production last November 11. P-61 will be connected to dry completion wells, with control valves located on the platform instead of the seabed. All 18 wells will be fitted with submersible centrifugal pumps. Output from P-61 will be transferred by multiphase flow to FPSO P-63. The oil will be offloaded using shuttle tankers and excess gas will be reinjected into a nearby reservoir. The project is a joint venture between Petrobras (62.5%) and Chevron (37.5%). Petrobras strategic projects of the 2013- 2017 Business and Management Plan also forecasts to place onstream the following platforms during 2014.

FPSO Cidade Ilhabela at Sapinhoá Norte in Santos basin presalt, forecast for 3Q 2014 with processing capacity of 150,000bo/d and gas compression at 6MMcu. m/d gas. Well 1-SP-55 was the first to be connected to FPSO Cidade de São Paulo and will flow at a restricted rate of 15,000bo/d while gas processing and reinjection equipment is commissioned.

Then, the well will be flowed at a production rate of 25,000bo/d. Ten additional wells will be utilized by the FPSO consisting of five production wells alongside five injection wells. Peak field production is expected to occur in the second half of 2014 with the addition of a second FPSO, the Cidade de Ilhabela.

Both vessels will provide a combined production capability of 270,000bo/d and 388 MMcf/d of gas. FPSO Cidade Mangaratiba at Iracema Sul field, forecasted to come onstream by the 4Q 2014 with processing capacity of 150,000bo/d and 8MM cu.m/d of gas.

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