Petrobras Considers LNG Units for Pre-salt's Natural Gas

July 6, 2020

For illustration only; Credit - Pvince73/AdobeStock
For illustration only; Credit - Pvince73/AdobeStock

Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras is considering installing offshore units to liquefy the growing natural gas production from the so-called pre-salt area, the company's emissions and climate change manager said during a webinar on Friday.

Liquefied natural gas units could be an alternative for the gas associated with oil produced at the deep-water exploratory region located more than 100 miles off the coast, said Viviana Coelho. It was unclear if a projected program has a timeframe.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the firm is formally known, currently relies on offshore pipelines to bring natural gas produced offshore to the coast for processing.

Lack of infrastructure to ship offshore natural gas to the coast is seen as a possible limitation for rising oil production at the pre-salt, Petrobras has said.

The reservoirs, where oil is trapped beneath a thick layer of salt in the Atlantic seabed, have supplied more than 65% of Brazil's production in just over a decade since their discovery. The rate is expected to keep rising.

A small portion of the gas is burned through flaring systems at the platforms.

Brazil has strict legislation to limit flaring, and Petrobras wants to reduce its routine flaring emissions to zero by 2030, Coelho said in the presentation.

Flaring releases methane, and Petrobras aims to reduce the company's greenhouse gas emissions by 30% to 50% by 2025, she said.

The Brazilian company used 97.6% of its natural gas in May, according to Brazil's oil regulator. A significant portion is reinjected into the ground to control reservoir pressure and increase oil production, Petrobras said. (Reporting by Sabrina Valle; Editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler)

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle Editing by Chris Reese)

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