OTC Brasil: Exploration, Production Perspectives in South Atlantic

Petrobras’ knowledge of geology and geophysics (G&G) helped it overcome technological challenges and maximize exploratory success while it went deeper offshore, Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.’s (Petrobras) E&P director Jose Miranda Formigli Filho said during the “Perspective on E&P in the South Atlantic” panel at OTC Brasil 2013.

Formigli estimated that by 2020 the pre-salt production will represent 50 percent of Petrobras’ output with the potential to reach some 31 billion barrels of oil equivalent. By 2035, some 39 million barrels per day of new crude supply will be needed, he added. Currently, 30 percent of the company’s exploration investments are directed to consolidation and appraisal of pre-salt and areas’ transfer of rights, he said. The post-salt stays with a 70 percent stake, including new discoveries taking place in Sergipe-Alagoas and Espirito Santo basins and the promising Equatorial Margin, a 36,897 square miles (95,563 square kilometers) area that features 192 exploration sites and 59 evaluation plans and discoveries like Zaedyus, Venus, Mercury and Jubilee.

He explained that G&G opened the way for sweet spots through integrated technologies such as well log modeling and simulation; calibration of imaging; rock pore space characterization; rock physics modeling; rock and fluid interaction; sedimentological contextualization; 3D imaging and DHI petro physical properties.   

Petrobras’ opportunities to test these technologies in the West Africa coast are mainly occurring in Benin, Angola, Gabao, Namibia and Nigeria where some 30,000 barrels of oil per day are being produced, concluded Formigli.

The company is currently meeting development and exploration challenges at Santos and Barreirinhas basins respectively, BG’s Executive Vice President Exploration Malcolm Brown said.

In Santos, BG acquired a 30 percent stake in the BM-S-9 block during Round 2 of auctions in the year 2000 in association with Petrobras (45 percent – operator) and Repsol (25 percent).

At Barreirinha basin, 10 licenses totaling a 2,703 square miles (7,000 square kilometers) area acquired by BG in the 11th Round of auctions include 6 areas where BG has 100 percent stake and 4 areas with 25 percent share, in association with Petrobras (65 percent) and Petrogal (10 percent). Brown explained that challenges to complete the exploratory program within time set by the contract are due to the lack of oil and gas infrastructure in the region, requiring even more cooperation among stakeholders and the operator.


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