Major Effort to Increase Campos Basin Output
Petrobras has set plans to spend $5.6 billion through 2016 to increase output at the Campos Basin mature fields which have had decreased outputs for some time. Most post salt fields at the Campos Basin have been in production since the 1980s, some of which have been major producers. A steep decline in production began around 2009, not only due to the aging fields having low reserves but also because of lack of investments in operational resources and equipment for the older fields.
The national operator will invest $1 billion in new money and spend $4.6 billion in operating costs to boost efficiency in the offshore Campos Basin operating unit to historic levels of about 90%, up from 72% in the first quarter of 2012. The program will update old equipment and use new technologies in order to improve recovery from the old wells. Another important aspect of this effort will be in substituting aging rigs and production systems with more modern equipment, something that has been demanded by the local offshore workers unions for some time and which has already lead to countless strikes and even some serious accidents.
"We are going to return to levels of efficiency more adequate for a mature basin," said Joelson Falcao, general manager for Petrobras's Campos Basin operating unit. The Campos Basin includes 31 offshore platforms, or production systems, operating off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, including several of Brazil´s oldest offshore rigs.
Some of the technologies used to increase this output may be related to re-injection of water or CO² in order to boost the output, other possibilities include the use of subsea systems instead of some traditional surface production systems in some wells. Subsea separation technology may also be in the cards in order to maximize recovery.
The Campos Basin is responsible for about 1/4 of the Petrobras's nearly 2 million barrels of daily crude production.
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.