Petrobras, CDC Sign Contract for Marlim Leste P-53 FPSO

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) signed a contract with special purpose company CDC to build the topside of the P-53 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel that will produce oil at the Marlim Leste field in the Campos basin, Petrobras said in a statement.

Petrobras leased the P-53 from CDC, which in turn hired a group made up of Brazilian engineering companies Queiroz Galvão, Ultratec and IESA to convert the Settebello ship into the FPSO.

The P-53 will have capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of oil and 6 million cubic meters of natural gas a day.

Britain's Rolls Royce will supply the power generation unit and US engineering company Dresser-Rand will provide the natural gas compression unit.

CDC will invest about US$950mn in the FPSO, which is scheduled to start producing oil in Marlim Leste in 2008.

Marlim Leste is 120km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state at a water depth of 1,250 meters. Heavy crude was discovered there in 1987. According to the original Marlim Leste project, the P-53 will be linked to 15 production wells and nine injection wells.

Output will be taken to shore through an underwater line and a pumping platform known as PRA-1 that has also been contracted by Petrobras.

The P-53 will replace current trial production that is being carried out on the fixed P-26 platform.

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