Petrobras begins development of massive offshore field as Brazil targets 7.5m bpd in a decade

FPSO P-67 floating production, storage and offloading vessel, is the ninth FPSO installed at Lula and officially ends the first phase of development at the field.

BRASILIA – Petrobras has put the finishing touches on the first wave of development at the massive offshore Brazil Lula Field, pumping first oil from the latest floating production unit to be installed at the country’s largest oil and natural gas producer, the company announced on Friday.

The FPSO P-67 floating production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO, is the ninth FPSO installed at Lula and officially ends the first phase of development at the field, state-led Petrobras said. The FPSO, which was installed at the Lula Norte area, has installed capacity to produce 150,000 b/d and process 6 million cu m/d, according to Petrobras.

“The Lula Field, which includes the Lula and Cernambi reservoirs, is the country’s biggest producer and should reach the mark of 1 million barrels of daily production in 2019, less than a decade after commercial production started in October 2010,” Petrobras said in a statement. Lula produced 902,918 b/d and 38.2 million cu m/d in November, according to the latest data from Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, or ANP.

Lula was the first of several multibillion-barrel discoveries found trapped under a thick layer of salt more than 7,000 meters deep in the Campos and Santos basins off the coast of Brazil in the mid-2000s to enter production. Petrobras and its partners have since started output at the Sapinhoa and Buzios fields, with growing output from the region known as the subsalt expected to make Brazil one of the world’s top 10 oil exporters by the middle of the next decade.

The ANP expects the country’s output to reach 7.5 million b/d by 2030, driven by discoveries currently under development as well as new production derived from areas sold off at concession bid rounds and production-sharing auctions held in 2017-2018. Exports are expected to climb to 4 million b/d from 1.1 million b/d currently, according to the ANP.

The FPSO P-67 will be anchored in waters 2,130 meters deep about 260 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, Petrobras said. Output will be handled via nine production wells, while the FPSO will also be connected to six injection wells.

The vessel’s production will be offloaded in ship-to-ship operations via tanker, while gas output will be exported via several subsea pipelines. Petrobras recently connected a new tranche of the Route 1 offshore pipeline to the Mexilhao platform, which should help boost gas exports from subsalt fields such as Lula.

Petrobras owns a 65% operating stake in Lula, which is located in the Santos Basin’s BM-S-11 block. Shell holds a 25% minority share, while Portugal’s Galp Energia retains the remaining 10%.–MercoPress