Petrobras Heavy Oil Transport System Ready at Yr End

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) plans to inaugurate a US$160mn heavy crude oil transport system in Espírito Santo state at year-end, reducing costs for the production of lubricants, a company spokesperson told BNamericas.

The project includes a heavy crude processing facility at the Fazenda Alegre onshore field where the wells are, a 14.8km pipeline to take the crude to the coast at Campo Grande and from there 3.5km to a sea terminal to load tankers that will take the oil to Petrobras's Lubinor lubricant plant in Ceará state, in the northeast of the country.

The onshore pipeline will be underground and heated, and the terminal will have 15,000 cubic meters of storage capacity, the company said in a statement.

"The processing will increase the value of the oil by removing impurities and humidity, and the pipe transport will cut road transport," the spokesperson said.

The oil produced at Fazenda Alegre is currently taken 145km by truck to the Regência sea terminal, and sometimes further to lubricant plants.

Petrobras produces some 40,000 barrels of oil day in Espírito Santo, 50% of which comes from the Jubarte and Cachalote offshore fields in the Campos Basin, and the rest from some 30 onshore wells.

The oil is mostly heavy crude, of 20 degrees API or less. The Fazenda Alegre field, located in the northern region of the state, accounts for 60% of onshore production, the spokesperson said.

In January 2005, Petrobras also plans to announce the conclusion of the 56km gas transport system also in the north of the state that will take gas from the offshore Peroá and Cangoa fields in the Espírito Santo Basin to the Cacimbas gas treatment plant that is linked to a local pipeline taking the gas south to the state capital Vitória.

The project was announced in 2002 with a budget of US$100mn to take the projected 1.4million cubic meters a day of gas production in the two fields.

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