Guará Pre-salt EWT Halted due to Subsea Production Pipe Failure
Like I recently stated, bad thing happen real fast, in this case no one even knows exactly why things happened but no real harm was done since the Dynamic Produce FPSO, belonging to Brazilian contractor Petroserv, was down for maintenance since last Sunday, with the well being plugged and the pipes purged of O&G.
Therefore, when the a pipe section connecting the FPSO to the well ruptured (it´s still not clear at what depth the rupture occurred or even how many ruptures there were), there was nothing in them to spill out, avoiding what would have been the first serious pre-salt production accident resulting in a oil spill.
It is also interesting that the DP FPSO was already in maintenance as it only became operational late last year but since it is a brand new conversion and I have no knowledge of its maintenance schedule, it may very well just have been a scheduled routine maintenance stop.
The Guara pre-salt field is one of the major pre-salt finds in Brazil, located in Block BM-S-9 of the Santos basin, about 310km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The field is situated at a water depth of 2,140m (7,065ft) and is estimated to contain about 1.1 billion to 2 billion barrels of light oil and natural gas. The Guara EWT is producing through well SPS-55, and is expected to last for five months with a daily production is estimated at 14,000 barrels of oil.
After completing the EWT and barring any major problems, the Guará field will enter a pilot project phase, with multiple wells connected to the Cidade de São Paulo FPSO, which has a larger storage capacity for the commercial production of 120 thousand barrels of oil and 5 million of gas, slated to begin by 2013.
It´s also important to note that with pipes going down over 2 thousand meters deep, it isn´t unheard of to have pipe rupture problems such as these, it is also better to identify any snags now during the EWT, than to only identify them during commercial production, which not only would increase financial losses with a production shutdown, but also the risk of a spill due to the larger volumes being pumped upstream on a faster operating tempo.
Petrobras is the field operator (45%) in partnership with the BG Group (30%) and Repsol (25%).
“The causes for the pipe rupture are being investigated. After this evaluation and the production system being fixed, a decision will be made as to the re-start of this EWT”, announced Petrobras.