Petrobras to tap pre-salt Santos oil finds with ten FPSOs

Sep 15, 2008 02:00 AM

Brazil's state-run Petrobras said it has given the go-ahead for plans to contract 10 floating, production, storage and offloading vessels to begin developing its huge oil and gas finds in the pre-salt areas in the Santos Basin. The first two FPSO platforms will be chartered from third parties and will be destined for use in development pilot projects, Petrobras said.
Each unit's production capacity will be 100,000 bpd oil and 5 mm cm of natural gas and will be installed between 2013 and 2014 in yet-to-be-decided pre-salt areas. The eight other production units will belong to Petrobras and will have production capacities of 120,000 bpd of oil and 5 mm cmpd of gas, the company said. They will be installed during 2015 and 2016.

Petrobras has said it expects to install between 5 and 10 floating offshore production platforms in the Tupi field in the Santos Basin, one of Brazil's newest discoveries underneath a massive salt cap, by around 2015. The field, which is estimated to hold 5 bn-8 bn barrels of oil, is expected to produce at least 500,000 bpd, and potentially up to double that before 2020.
Petrobras said its eight FPSOs will be manufactured in series, beginning with the construction of the hulls at the dry dock of the Rio Grande Shipyard, in Rio Grande do Sul. It said the 10 FPSOs will operate in ultradeep waters, ranging from 2,400 to 3,000 meters from the waterline, and will be used to "kick-off" the production system in the pre-salt area of the Santos Basin.

Petrobras has been reluctant to offer up reserves estimates for Brazil's entire pre-salt play, especially since it only began drilling into the ultradeep strata in 2005.
Petrobras has said the cost of its recent drilling into Brazil's pre-salt reservoirs was $ 60 mm-$ 80 mm, down from around $ 240 mm in a first pre-salt well it drilled over 2005-2006.

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