Petrobras' P-51 Kicks Off Production in the Campos Basin


The P-51, the first semisubmersible platform built entirely in Brazil, went on stream Jan. 24, beginning the production of well MLS-99, in the Marlim Sul field, in the Campos Basin. Installed at a water depth of 1,255 meters and 150 km off the coast of Macae, the new unit is capable of producing up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day and is considered strategic for the maintenance of Brazil's oil self-sufficiency.

The new platform is part of the Brazilian Federal Government's Growth Acceleration Program (GAP) and generated 4,000 direct and 12,000 indirect jobs during its construction. The total investment made in this production unit neared $1 billion. The FSTP (Keepel Fells Technip) consortium, Nuovo Pignone (gas compression module), Rolls Royce (power generation module), and Nuclep (hull) were in charge of construction.

Because of its high degree of national content, the new platform is considered a turning point for the resumption of the Brazilian naval industry's activities: in February 2003, Petrobras decided to suspend the bidding process for the unit, which was already ongoing, to include the mandatory minimum national content clause in the public notice, which in the case of the P-51 was above 70%. That was a strategic decision that opened new horizons in Brazilian shipyard history. Since then, the requirement has been included in all bidding procedures the company has held.

Another highlight in its construction was the deck mating operation (joining the platform's upper part to its hull) which was carried out in record time in April 2008. That was the second time an operation of this type was carried out in Brazil, reasserting the high qualification of national engineering.

The P-51 is capable of compressing six million cubic meters of gas and it will be fundamentally important to increase the supply of the product to the Brazilian market. This production is part of the Natural Gas Production Anticipation Plan (Plangas), created to reduce Brazil's foreign dependence on this fuel. Its four turbines are able to generate 100MW of energy, enough to supply a city of 300,000 inhabitants.

The new unit will be interconnected to 19 wells (10 oil and gas producers and nine water injectors, and to 85 pipelines, which, together, add up to 335 km). Measuring 125 meters in length, 110 meters wide, and weighing a total of 48,000 tons, the P-51 lodge up to 200 people.

Length: 125 meters
Width: 110 meters
Total weight: 48,000 tons
Living quarters: 200 people
Water injection capacity: 282,000 barrels per day
Location: anchored at Marlim Sul at a depth of 1,255 meters and 150 km off the coast
Wells: interconnected to 19 wells – ten oil and gas producers and nine water injectors
Power generation capacity: 100 megawatts (enough power to light a city of 300,000 inhabitants)