Petrobras will begin its participation in the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) this Monday (05/04), which is scheduled to take place through May 7, in Houston, Texas. In this 2022’s edition, the Company will highlight the challenges that must be overcome to produce in the pre-salt layer.
On account of the increased number cases of Influenza A (H1N1), which may represent a potential health hazard for travelers, Petrobras executives and technicians will no longer travel to Houston. Exceptionally, the entire technical program will be presented by Petrobras America representatives. That way, Petrobras maintains its participation in the biggest event of the global oil industry.
On Monday, at 12:15pm (2:25pm Brasília standard time), the CEO of Petrobras America, Orlando Azevedo, will make a presentation about the oil industry in Brazil. The technical session Pre-salt Challenges: Exploration and Development will begin at 2pm (4pm Brasília standard time). During the session, papers dealing with matters such as the Tupi pilot project, technological challenges, exploration, well construction, national content, the supplier chain, and production development will be presented. On the other days of the event, studies will be presented regarding technological solutions in projects such as Jabuti, Papa Terra and Siri, among others.
Petrobras and its partners will invest some $29 billion in the pre-salt in the upcoming five 2022s, a substantial part of the Business Plan that covers the 2009-2013 period and calls for total investments in the order of $172.4 billion in Brazil and abroad. Of this total, $92 billion will be allocated solely to Exploration & Production in Brazil. As a result of these investments, Petrobras and its associates expect the pre-salt blocks to be producing an average of 1,815,000 barrels of oil per day in 2020 originating from these reservoirs.
In order for the supplier market to keep up with this scenario, Petrobras is driving the development of the supply chain. An example of this is that the Company is signing long-term agreements with suppliers.
On May 1, the Tupi Extended Well Test (EWT) was kicked-off. Until 2010, Petrobras and its partners will put several other major projects into motion, among which the Tupi Pilot Project and the gas pipeline that will connect the area to the Mexilhão platform, which will concentrate a major portion of the Santos Basin’s gas production. Additionally, at least seven Extended Well Tests (including Tupi’s) will go on stream in the Santos Basin’s Pre-Salt Pole.
The Tupi Assessment Plan area covers nearly 2,000 square kilometers, while Santos Basin’s total pre-salt cluster ranges for approximately 15,000 square kilometers. The preliminary estimate of the recoverable volume at the Tupi field is 5 to 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) (28o API). The Iara accumulation, which is located at the same block, has a recoverable volume estimated at 3 to 4 billion barrels of light oil (approximately 30o API).
What is the pre-salt?
The pre-salt expression refers to a cluster of rocks located off the Brazilian coast, between the states of Santa Catarina and Espírito Santo, with the potential to generate and accumulate oil under a layer of salt found in ultra-deep waters. This layer is not distributed uniformly and, in the Santos Basin, for example, can be as much as 2,000 meters thick.
The recent oil and gas discoveries Petrobras made in the pre-salt area, particularly Tupi (in the Santos Basin), nestled at a depth of 6,000 meters and under a thick layer of salt, will reposition Brazil in the global oil industry.
These reserves are located nearly 300 km off the coast. As a result, future platforms will be three times further away from the coast than those that are currently installed at the offshore fields of the Campus Basin (state of Rio de Janeiro). The alternatives Petrobras has sought for aim to increase the projects’ logistics and economic efficiency regarding issues such as passenger transportation and gas offloading.
Exploration & Production in the United States
Through 2013, Petrobras intends to invest $15.9 billion abroad, 79% of which in E&P. The United States will receive the biggest volume of resources ($4.45 billion, or 28% of the total invested outside of Brazil).
In February 2007, Petrobras kicked-off production in the Cottonwood field, in the American portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Cottonwood is the first deepwater field offshore (670 meters) Petrobras has developed and put into production abroad as an operator.
The Company is also the operator of the Cascade and Chinook fields, both located in ultra-deep waters in the Walker Ridge Quadrant. The project will include the application of new technologies in the Gulf of Mexico, such as the usage of an FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading) type platform, oil transportation by means of shuttle tankers, self-sustainable hybrid risers, and multiphase submarine pumping. The FPSO will be installed at a water depth of 2,500 meters, a new world record, and is expected to go online in mid-2010.
The company also holds stakes in the important Saint Malo and Stones discoveries, which are currently in the early development phase and will be operated by Chevron and Shell, respectively.
Petrobras in the OTC
Acknowledged worldwide as one of the leadership in deep and ultra-deep water exploration and production, Petrobras has already been granted three awards at the OTC. In 2007, Petrobras Research Center engineer Marcos Assayag was granted the Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals for his contribution to the development of technologies to produce oil in deep and ultra-deep waters.
In 2001, the technologies used in the Roncador Field gave Petrobras the Distinguished Achievement Award for Organizations. In 1992, the Company had already been granted the same award for the technologies applied in the Marlim Field, in the Campos Basin.