PROCAP 3000: next ultra-deepwater exploration frontier.
Over the past 23 years, Petrobras, forerunner in the use of the floating production concept, has always emphasized innovation and upgrade based on its professional expertise. The first PROCAP – Technological Development Program for Deepwater Production Systems was launched in 1986 in order to improve the company’s technical skills in oil and natural gas production in water until 1,000m. To do so, Albacora and Marlin fields were chosen as a development unit.
The results obtained in this first program and the other discoveries in deeper water encouraged the company to create a new program in 1993, PROCAP-2000 - Technological Development Program for Deepwater Exploration Systems. It was implemented to give continuity to the efforts of the first and was a much greater challenge.
The oil industry is expanding and developing a set of new technologies, boosted by the desire for its already discovered deepwater fields to start producing, as well as the potential fields to be discovered in water depths of around 3,000 meters. And so in 2000 Petrobras launched PROCAP-3000 – Petrobras Technology Program in Ultra-deep water Exploration Systems.
To produce and give support to the new stages of Marlin Sul and Roncador, Marlin Leste and Albacora Leste, Jubarte and Cachalote (all over 1,000m deep, with different fluid and reservoir characteristics) and the deepwater blocks in the Santos and Espirito Santo basins;
To further the production of new discoveries at depths to 3,000 meters;
To cut extraction costs in the fields with production underway at depths above 1,000 meters;
To cut the lifting cost in the fields currently in production at water depths above 1,000 meters.
Petrobras deep and ultra-deep water production has increased steadily. In 2003, the highest domestic oil production of Petrobras was 1,640,509 bopd, with 64% in deep and ultra-deep water. These figures rank Petrobras as the world’s largest deepwater producer, with around 65% of the areas of its offshore exploration blocks in water depths of more than 400m.
In 2006, the company reached oil self-sufficiency, with about 70% of its production coming from deep and ultradeep waters. Furthermore, it is likely most of the new discoveries will be made in ultradeep waters.
Therefore, the main challenge of PROCAP is to capacitate the company to achieve its strategic goals of increased production and reserves at increasing water depths.
Photo courtesy of Petrobras