Petrobras E&P manager talks presalt
Brazil’s Petrobras has proven it is a presalt production powerhouse.
The deepwater giant is placing its bets on presalt, hoping to boost the company’s overall production and generate massive cash flow. Crucial to achieving its goals are platforms capable of tapping the vast offshore deposits. Solange Guedes, corporate E&P executive manager for Petrobras, provided insight into what has been key to the company’s presalt accomplishments and the challenges ahead.
E&P: What drilling technologies have been crucial to your success?
Guedes: Several types of technology are contributing to the strong results we are seeing in the development of the presalt layer. In well construction, we can highlight the use of new drillbits that increase the penetration rate, the use of state-of-the-art dual-derrick and dual-activity drilling rigs with high racking capacity, the implementation of serialized drilling and completion campaigns, and the use of state-of-the-art directional tools, which allow the construction of better trajectories as well as real-time tracking of well-bottom parameters at our Decision Support Center. It is also worth noting our intensive use of smart completion of satellite wells in ultradeep waters.
Regarding our subsea systems for transporting output, we have pioneered the implementation of many technologies, most notably the use of riser support buoys, the use of steel catenary risers with lined pipes installed using the reel-lay method, the installation of the first steel lazy-wave riser totally composed of clad pipes and pipes featuring a metal liner (Sapinhoá North), the installation of a flexible riser in deeper waters (Lula Pilot), and the first use of flexible risers with an integrated traction wire monitoring system (Sapinhoá Pilot). In our production platforms’ processing systems, we can highlight the unprecedented use in deep waters of a process for separating CO2 from the current of produced gas and the subsequent reinjection of the removed CO2 back into the producing reservoirs. The deepest offshore well in which we are reinjecting CO2 is located in the Lula Pilot area. Finally, it is worth emphasizing the first use of alternate water and gas injection technology in ultradeep waters, also in the Lula Pilot area.
E&P: What presalt development challenges do you foresee five to 10 years from now?
What is Petrobras doing now to prepare for these challenges? Guedes: Presalt production will be decisive for Petrobras to achieve the targets established in its 2014-18 Business and Management Plan. From now until the end of 2018, 20 new production units will be installed in the presalt, 19 of them in the Santos Basin, raising presalt production to 52% of the company’s total.
Before the end of 2014, two new platforms will come onstream: the FPSO vessels Cidade de Mangaratiba in Iracema South and Cidade de Ilhabela in Sapinhoá North.
In 2015, the FPSO vessel Cidade de Itaguaí will come onstream in the Iracema North area. An additional seven units are scheduled for 2016: FPSO units Cidade de Maricá, Cidade de Saquarema, P-66 and P-67, to be installed in Lula; P-74 and P-75, in Búzios; and Cidade de Caraguatatuba, in Lapa.
In 2017, there will be another five systems: P-68 and P-69 in Lula, P-76 and P-77 in Búzios, and P-70 in Iara.
In 2018, we will have one new unit in the Campos Basin presalt in Parque das Baleias and another four in Santos Basin: P-72 in Tupi Northeast, P-71 in Iara, P-73 in Iara Surround and one unit in Carcará.
E&P: What are your production targets for 2020? Are you on course to meet these targets?
Guedes: In 2020, we will reach 4.2 MMbbl/d of oil and 5.2 MMboe/d. Yes, we are [on course]. To reach this goal, Petrobras plans to put 35 new production units into operation between 2014 and 2020.
E&P: What role will production from nonpresalt areas play in these goals?
There is much focus on offshore and presalt operations. Guedes: In addition to presalt, post-salt production has also been fundamental to Petrobras in achieving the targets established in its Business and Management Plan for the coming years. The company has focused its efforts on maintaining the sustainability of the production in the Campos Basin fields. We have improved the efficiency of old systems, particularly through the Campos Basin Operational Efficiency Improvement Program (known by Portuguese acronym Proef), which added 63,000 bbl/d last year. In the same basin, over the last six months we have also started up the following new systems: P-63 in Papa-Terra, P-55 and P-62 in Roncador, and P-58 in Parque das Baleias (which also has post-salt wells).
We will also be starting up P-61 in Papa-Terra in the second half of 2014. These systems will add to our production in the Campos Basin in the coming months as the respective production wells are interconnected. The attention we have continuously paid to the Campos Basin led it to produce 1.531 MMbbl/d in 2013 against 1.693 MMbbl/d in 2009, the year in which it reached the highest production volume in its history. In addition, it is worth stressing the high operational efficiency of our onshore systems in the north, northeast and Espírito Santo areas, which reached 94% in this year’s first quarter. Thanks to our excellent performance in managing the reservoirs in the mature fields in these areas, using new and rewarding water and steam injection techniques, our onshore and shallow-water (depth up to 300 m [984 ft]) production reached an average of 369,000 bbl/d in 2013. In 2014 our production stability in the north and northeast regions will be guaranteed, above all, by: increasing the density of our production network in the Urucu River and East Urucu fields in the Amazonas Operations Unit; the drilling and intervention of new wells, and the expansion of water injection in the Canto do Amaro and Ubarana fields in the Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará Operations Unit, which will increase the reservoirs’ oil recovery factor; the project to expand water injection in the Fazenda Bálsamo cluster in the Bahia Operations Unit; and the expansion of the water injection system in Carmópolis Field in the Sergipe-Alagoas Operations Unit.
E&P: What are some of your exploration plans for the coming quarters?
Guedes: Our plans continue to be in line with Petrobras’ 2014-18 Business and Management Plan. Regarding exploration, Petrobras intends to focus its efforts on Brazil’s sedimentary basins in a selective, risk-sharing manner. The company also plans to discover and appropriate reserves in Brazil, maintaining a reserves-to-production ratio of at least 12 years. It is worth noting that, during 2013, the company participated actively in three bidding rounds held by ANP—two under a concession regime (11th and 12th rounds) and one under a production-sharing regime (first round/Libra). Regarding the latter, we highlight our acquisition of the Libra Block, which presents excellent petroleum potential, through a consortium with Shell, Total, CNPC and CNOOC. In the coming years Petrobras will continue to carry out exploration activities in these areas. In addition, the National Energy Policy Council has approved direct hiring of Petrobras to produce, under a production-sharing regime, the surplus volumes in four presalt areas contracted under the “cessão onerosa” regime—Búzios, Iara Surround, Florim and Tupi Northeast. Regarding production, so far in 2014 the company has brought into operation platforms P-58 in Parque das Baleias and P-62 in the Roncador Field, both in the Campos Basin. Each has the capacity to produce up to 180,000 bbl/d. Before the end of the year, the company will install platform P-61, associated with the tender assisted drilling support platform in Papa-Terra Field, the FPSO vessel Cidade de Mangaratiba in the Iracema South area of the Lula Field in the Santos Basin presalt and the FPSO vessel Cidade de Ilhabela in the Sapinhoá North area. With the startup of these five production units in 2014, added to the other five installed in 2013, the company will add 1.3 MMbbl/d to its installed capacity.
- Published on:
- December 1, 2014
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