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Pre-salt is heading towards decarbonization

The Búzios and Tupi fields, in the pre-salt of the Santos Basin, has recorded emissions below the world average

Published in 06/09/2023 at 09:40:07

P-75 operates in the Búzios field, in the Santos Basin pre-salt.

Photo: Banco de Imagens Petrobras


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Over the 15 years that Petrobras has been operating in the pre-salt layer, the company has made significant progress towards decarbonizing its operations.  The Tupi and Búzios fields, for example, located in the pre-salt of the Santos Basin, have produced benchmark results for the O&G industry. In 2022, the company achieved a rate of less than 9.5 kgCO₂e for each barrel of oil equivalent produced from these assets, which represent around 51% of Petrobras' production; an amount below the world average.
The carbon efficiency of Petrobras' oil and gas production in the pre-salt is due to a portfolio of projects that have focused on operational excellence and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, as a consequence. These projects have included the latest technology and have succeeded in generating power on platforms more efficiently, which has led to less fuel gas being used and less associated emissions. Other initiatives that have also been relevant have been reducing the burning of gas (flaring), controlled release of gases (venting) and reducing leaks (fugitive emissions).
Another important project that reduces the amount of emissions from oil and gas production in the pre-salt layer is, what is known as, carbon capture, use and geological storage (CCUS). This solution was developed by Petrobras and combines CCUS with advanced oil recovery (CCUS-EOR). It was essential to make production possible in the pre-salt fields of the Santos Basin. 

CCUS in the pre-salt: largest CO2 injection capacity per year in the world

Petrobras's CCUS operations in the pre-salt layer have become increasingly significant and are now the largest in the world in terms of annual CO₂ injection capacity. Last year, Petrobras broke a world record by injecting 10.6 million tons of CO₂ into pre-salt reservoirs; the equivalent of 25% of the total injected by industry around the world in 2022, according to the Global CCS Institute. Since Petrobras started using it in 2008, the cumulative total injected is now 40.8 million tons.
Injecting the gas into the reservoir increases production efficiency and reduces the effective GHG emissions, based on emissions per barrel produced. This enables us to operate with low costs and less carbon, ensuring that the project is competitive. Currently, the 23 platforms operating in the pre-salt fields are all equipped with CCUS.
The pioneering nature of Petrobras' CCUS project in the pre-salt layer was recognized by the world body, the “Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum” (CSLF), in June this year. It was the first time that a Latin American company had won this award, which shows how important Petrobras’s CCUS project is for the world industry and helped to show that the geological storage of CO₂ is safe. In Brazil, Petrobras' CCUS project received the Firjan Sustainability Award in 2020, in the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency category. Petrobras' intends to use the knowledge and experience gained in CCUS to develop new opportunities for energy transition and help to reduce emissions, not just for the company, but also for the country as a whole.

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