Petrobras Has Begun Production at Chinook in U.S. Gulf

Petroleo Brasileiro SA started production last week at the Chinook oil and gas field in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the company said Thursday.

Petrobras, as the company is known, drilled and completed the Chinook well in a resevoir in the lower tertiary, a geographic layer nearly 5 miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil and gas companies are using advances in drilling technology to explore for oil in increasingly extreme environments.

The Pioneer production platform is moored 155 miles off the coast of Louisiana in waters 8,200 feet above the sea floor, a world-record depth for oil production, according to Petrobras. Petrobras' wholly-owned Cascade well, in the same region, increased production to 174,554 total barrels of oil in June from 85,348 barrels in March.

A subsidiary of Total S.A. owns a third of the Chinook well, which is capable of producing 80,000 barrels of oil and 500,000 cubic meters of gas a day.

The Cascade-Chinook development is the first in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to pump offshore oil using a floating, production, storage and offloading vessel instead of a traditional oil platform.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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