Shell Launches BC-10 Deepwater Development Offshore Brazil

Shell Brasil announced the first contracts for the development of the Ostra, Abalone and Argonauta fields of the BC-10 deepwater block offshore of Espirito Santo state, Brazil. BC-10 is located in the Campos Basin, approximately 120 km southeast from the city of Vitoria, in water depths of 1500 to 2000 meters.

The BC-10 development plans call for a phased development approach with the first phase developing three fields, and a second phase for a fourth field. The initial contracts being awarded include the leased 'Floating Production, Storage and Offloading' (FPSO) vessel with 100,000 bbl/day of oil processing capacity, and a 10-well commitment.

The National Petroleum Agency approved the phased development plans in early October. The design calls for a development with subsea wells and manifolds, with each field tied back to a centrally located FPSO moored in 1780 meters of water, placing it in some of the deepest waters for FPSOs in the world. First production is expected around the turn of the decade.

Shell holds 50% interest and will operate the project for Petrobras (35%) and ONGC (15%). Shell and partners declared the commerciality of the fields to the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) last December.

"The BC-10 development is a key milestone in the commercialization of heavy oil in Brazil's deepwater." said Marvin Odum, Executive Vice President, EP Americas. "It is also a significant step toward Shell's objective to deliver new material oil and to establish a core upstream presence in Brazil. Shell and partners have steadily invested in exploration, appraisal and the technology development required to deliver the BC-10 development. We are looking forward to bringing this exciting project into production."

The BC-10 development will be the first full field development based on subsea oil and gas separation and subsea pumping. BC-10 technology requirements also include artificial deepwater lift via high power electric pumps in seabed caissons and horizontal wells. The double-sided FPSO includes in its design significant power and heat delivery systems that are required to drive the system and process the heavy crudes that range from 16 to 24 degrees API.

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