Brazil Exploration Review 2013
The auction of Libra pre-salt field, forecast to contain between 8 and 12 billion barrels boe in recoverable reserves, was Brazil's first bidding round in the pre-salt area, and failed to meet the high expectations placed on it by the Brazilian government, yet the government, the ANP (National Oil Regulator) and Petrobras are highly satisfied with the results because they managed to attract important and experienced partners in Shell and Total, along with the high rolling Chinese companies. Despite a nine-month global publicity campaign and predictions of fervent bidding by as many as 40 firms, the license was awarded to the only consortium to register a bid. Another controversial state controlled company PPSA will oversee the contract’s implementation, having both voting and veto rights.
Franco Pre-Salt – New Monster Play in Brazil
The Franco pre-salt field, which is located southwest of the massive Libra field that will be auctioned in October 21st, originally had been forecast to contain 3 billion barrels boe of recoverable light oil. In light of new studies, the Franco pre-salt field is now believed to contain recoverable oil volumes equal to or superior to the Libra pre-salt field, something hovering around 10 billion barrels boe. This is excellent news for Petrobras, which is in the process of making major exploratory, production and infrastructure investments and desperately needs new capital. The reason it being excellent news has nothing to do with oil auction…
North Brazil Oil – Deepwater Oil off the State of Pará
Brazil’s Equatorial Margin, which is the country's coastline facing north, has recently had offshore exploration blocks acquired by a number of players during the 11 bidding round in early 2013. One of the states with a coastline on the Equatorial Margin, the state of Pará already has proven reserves established by Petrobras, which has been drilling there since the beginning of the year. More recently it has been established that these reserves are economically viable to be explored commercially. Rumors had it that Petrobras was satisfied by the way the exploration effort was developing. The Harpia exploration well, which began drilling in January 2013 in water depths of 2…
Portuguese Investment in Brazil’s Pre-Salt
Galp Energy, which is Portugal’s major O&G operator, is aiming at increasing its investments in Brazil through acquisition of new block during Petrobras’ pre-salt bidding round next October. Galp is already considered a preferred partner by Petrobras as can be seen by the fact that Galp currently partners Petrobras in four deepwater pre-salt blocks in the Santos Basin, with the biggest blocks being Lula and Cerambi, both large pre-salt plays, which are producing. Earlier this year Galp again partnered Petrobras in acquiring nine blocks in the Parnaíba, Potiguar and Barreirinhas Basin, during the 11th bidding round which mainly encompassed block along Brazil’s Northeast Coast and Equatorial Margin.
O&G Exploration to Increase in Brazil
Brazil has been investing in a major effort to increase its exploratory O&G campaign along the countries coast and also inland where major gas reservoirs have been recently located. Unfortunately, this is still not enough as presently Brazil is exploring only 4% of its areas with O&G potential. Of the 7,5 million square kilometers of sedimentary basins located in the country, only 7% have actually been researched, including all the recent major pre-salt discoveries. This points to major untapped O&G potential in the country, the numbers are impressive and point to a need to increase even more the research and exploration of the huge areas still untouched. This further increase in exploration brings various safety and environmental risks along with it.
Treasures of the Deep – Mineral Exploration Under the Seabed
Located hundreds and even thousands of meters deep, vast deposits of precious metals and other marketable minerals are closer to being explored. Advances in marine geology, hundreds of deposits containing gold, silver, cobalt, lead and zinc, valued at trillions of dollars, have already been identified under the seabed, usually around fumaroles (hot gas fountains of volcanic origin). These are spread out along more than 73 thousand kilometers of underwater fissures on the earth´s crust. This interest has already come to the attention of environmentalists and environmental organizations as these locations are usually populated by unique species that live along the borders of the fumaroles, due to the heads and chemical elements that emanate from these underwater chimneys.
MiniROVs – Deep Trekker
As work class ROVs used in the O&G industry and S&R missions reach new peaks in demand, small inspection class ROVs, better known as mini or micro ROVS are also becoming accessible to the general public. These light weight ROVs come in various shapes and sizes, although most models are limited to shallow water depths, there are exceptions and the probability is high that in the near future these MiniROVs will be capable of reaching deeper waters. Based in southern Ontario, Canada, Deep Trekker Inc. is specialized in the design and manufacture affordable subsea exploration tools, targeting the growing world consumer market for U/W exploration tools.
VetcoGray´s Metal-to-Metal Sealing Technology
The increase in exploratory O&G programs around the world and specifically the deepwater exploration programs being undertaken at the GOM, in West Africa and Brazil has caused major improvements and new technologies and materials to be employed in subsea equipment, such as BOPs, wellhead systems, risers, manifolds, flowlines, drilling fluids among others. GE´s VetcoGray has developed an interesting seal technology for its subsea wellheads. Named MS seal, it is based on Metal-to-metal sealing technology. All VetcoGray subsea wellheads use metal-to-metal sealing technology, which is superior to elastomer options because it prevents inevitable heat and corrosive fluids from damaging seal integrity. Both the wellhead and hanger have a sealing area of parallel wickers.
OGX Keeps Up its Drilling Effort in 2011
After a nearly perfect drilling campaign on various fronts in 2010, OGX start 2011 with new discoveries in the Campos Basin. Although there was much skepticism at the start of OGX´s creation in 2007, after last year´s performance, the new Brazilian operator, which was created by Brazilian businessman and investor Eike Batista adding to the portfolio of his EBX Group can now easily be considered as a good investment, especially for those who bought in early. Eike´s strategy to hire and partner with Petrobras´s extraordinary geologist and executive Paulo Mendonça was vital not only to gain market value as to bring in deep knowledge of where do drill and how to plan the E&P campaign. It´s important to not that Petrobras´s exploratory success rate more than doubled after Mr.
New Players in the Brazilian O&G Market
With the expected growth of the Brazilian O&G market and high potential for new discoveries, new national and international O&G operators are preparing for or already undertaking exploratory campaigns. We will be taking a look at these new operators and also at how the established players are going about E&P in Brazil.The first new player we will be looking at is HRT Oil & Gas, which is a new national operator, founded in 2009. HRT O&G is a company belonging to the HRT Participation Group, an O&G market consultancy company founded by a prominent geologist Marcio Rocha Mello PhD, who worked for Petrobras for 25 years. HRT`s initial targets are the Brazilian and West African sedimentary basins.
Brazilian Pre-Salt Frontiers to Expand
According to major Brazilian O&G market sources, the official Brazilian pre-salt area boundaries will have to be expanded due to various pre-salt discoveries beyond presently acknowledged frontiers.Companies such as Petrobras, Repsol, Anadarko and Shell have made important pre-salt discoveries away from the Picanha Azul area where the Tupi field is located and where all the blocks drilled presented commercial hydrocarbon accumulations. Repsol is making history in Brazil with block ES-T-737, where they are drilling to a goal depth of 7,500m (24,606ft). Repsol is hedging on finding oil under the salt layer in an area beyond officially recognized pre-salt boundaries.
The OGX Exploratory Campaign Maintains Its High Success Rate
OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações S.A., the largest Brazilian private sector oil and gas company in terms of offshore exploratory acreage, announced today that it has completed the drilling of well 1-OGX-5-RJS, located in block BM-C-43, in the shallow waters of the southern part of the Campos Basin. OGX holds a 100% working interest in this block. The well OGX-5 was drilled to a depth of 4,100 meters, resulting in the detection of hydrocarbons in carbonate reservoirs in the Albian and Aptian sections. Cable tests performed after the conclusion of drilling also identified an oil-bearing column in the Maastrichtian section, from which oil samples were collected.
Petrobras Research Center´s PROCAP 3000 Program
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.
OGX On A Roll In The Southern Campos Basin
With 8 exploratory wells producing hydrocarbon discoveries during the year and with estimates of recoverable oil of around 5 billion barrels, OGX ends 2009 on a very positive high.OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações S.A., announced two days ago that it had completed the drilling of well 1-OGX-2A-RJS, located in the BM-C-41 block, in the shallow waters of the southern part of the Campos Basin. OGX holds a 100% working interest in this block. The well was drilled to a depth of approximately 3,550 meters, resulting in the finding of hydrocarbons in five different reservoirs: Eocene, Upper Cretaceous, Albian, Aptian and Barremian. Once the drilling of the well was concluded…