Published in 04/09/2023 at 14:05:00
The pre-salt reaches 15 years of production in September with renewed vigor – and significant growth perspective in the coming years. To give you an idea, Petrobrás plans to deploy 11 new production platforms in the pre-salt layer by 2027. Since December 2022, the company has already put into production two new pre-salt systems – P-71 in the Itapu field and FPSO Almirante Barroso, in the Búzios field – and plans to start operating the third unit (FPSO Sepetiba, in the Mero field) by the end of this year. FPSO is the English acronym for floating production storage and offloading platform.
Petrobrás’ Strategic Plan for 2023 to 2027 earmarked USD 64 billion for investments in exploration and production activities. A share of 67% of these funds will be allocated to investments in the pre-salt layer. With the new projects added to the units already in operation, the company is estimated to produce a total of 3 million and 100 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in 2027, with 2.4 million boed coming from the pre-salt layer (Petrobrás’ own share), which will represent 78% of total production. As for the operated production (Petrobrás + partners), it is estimated that the volume produced in the pre-salt layer will reach 3.6 million boe in 2027
Promising prospects for the Búzios field
The largest field in ultra-deep waters in the world, Búzios has presented excellent results. In June, the field reached an accumulated production of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), just five years after starting operations. For comparison, the Marlim field, in the Campos Basin, took 11 years to reach 1 billion boe and the Tupi field, in the pre-salt layer, nine years.
Currently, the Búzios field is operated with five platforms, all FPSO: P-74, P-75, P-76, P-77 and Almirante Barroso. And the future outlook is very positive. Of the eleven new platforms planed for the pre-salt layer by 2027, six will be allocated in Búzios: FPSOs Almirante Tamandaré (planed for 2024); P-78 and P-79 (both for 2025); P-80 and P-82 (both for 2026), in addition to P-83 (2027).
Mero Unitized Field: third largest in the country
Another large pre-salt field is Mero, located in the Libra block, in the Santos Basin. Currently, the Mero field is home to the FPSO Pioneiro de Libra, with a production capacity of up to 50,000 bpd, which operates the Early Production System (Sistema de Produção Antecipada - SPA 2), and the FPSO Guanabara, with a production capacity of up to 180,000 bpd – and which has already reached its production peak about eight months after first oil. The unit achieved a record monthly average production of 179,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) in February 2023.
In the second half of 2023, Petrobrás expects to deploy the second definitive platform in the Mero field: FPSO Sepetiba, with a production capacity of up to 180,000 bpd. By 2025, the company will put two new units into operation in that field, totaling four systems. Mero is the third largest field in Brazil, after Tupi and Búzios, which are also located in the pre-salt layer of the Santos Basin.
New platforms for the Campos Basin pre-salt
In addition to the Santos Basin, the pre-salt layer continues to expand in the Campos Basin. It was in the Jubarte field, in this basin, that the pre-salt production began 15 years ago. And it is this same field that will receive the FPSO Maria Quitéria in 2025, with a production capacity of up to 100,000 bdp.
At the same time, Petrobrás remains committed to renovate its mature assets in the Campos Basin, expanding its production capacity with the implementation of new systems. The Albacora field, for example, which completed 35 years of operation last year, will receive in 2027 a new FPSO for the Albacora Revitalization project, with a production capacity of up to 120,000 bpd – operating both in the post-salt and pre-salt fields.
“The 15 years of pre-salt production are the best evidence of a Brazil that works. It is a testament to the persistence and technical capabilities of the men and women who fought and did not give up in the face of the complex challenges they encountered. Our technical personnel contributed to the development of unprecedented technologies that made possible to produce in the pre-salt layer, together with our partners, driving the development of an entire market of highly specialized suppliers”, said Petrobrás’ Exploration and Production Officer, Joelson Mendes.
“These professionals not only entered a new frontier, hitherto unexplored, but also made it into one of the most important production spots in the world. And all this success points to a promising future: we are going to put 11 platforms into operation in the pre-salt layer over the next five years that will secure the sustainability of our production – which proves the importance and magnitude of our performance in the pre-salt layer”, added Mendes.
The results achieved in the pre-salt layer – and the promising prospects for the future – are largely due to working in partnership with companies recognized for their technical expertise: Shell, TotalEnergies, Petrogal, Repsol Sinopec, CNOOC, CNODC, Petronas, QatarEnergy and PPSA.
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