Marlim Leste FPSO Cidade de Niteroi Starts Up in Campos Basin

The FPSO Cidade de Niteroi went on stream today, Feb. 26, in the Marlim Leste field. Located 120 kilometers off the coast, 1,370 meters from the waterline in the Campos Basin, the FPSO is capable of producing 100,000 barrels of light oil (28 degrees API) and 3.5 million cubic meters of gas per day. This unit and platform P-53, which kicked production off in November 2008, compose the definitive Marlim Leste production system.

The FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) unit is part of Marlim Leste's module II, operating in the field known as Jabuti. It will be connected to ten production wells, nine producing oil and one producing gas.

This project is also important in terms of oil exploration, as it is the first commercial oil accumulation in carbonatic reservoirs located above the salt layer in deep Campos Basin waters.

The discovery, made in 2005, was an exploratory success and gave rise to a series of other discoveries in similar reservoirs in the area. This is a very important exploratory target for Petrobras, in a region that already counts on a wide-ranging production structure, a fact that allows for cost minimization and speeds project deployment up.

Chartered to Modec, the unit is part of the Gas Production Anticipation Plan (PLANGAS), and it is Petrobras' second platform to go online this year, a month after the P-51, which was the first semisubmersible unit built entirely in Brazil.

Marlim Leste Field Development

The Marlim Leste (East Marlim) field's development began with a pilot production operation from April 2000 to June 2002 through the completion and interconnecting of the 1-RJS-359 wells to P-26 platform in the Marlim field.

In December 2005, Petrobras confirmed the discovery of a new oil accumulation at the Marlim Leste field. The find was significant to the company because it was located in deeper geologic layers within the Campos Basin and inagurated a new exploratory model for recovering lighter and better quality oil. This discovery also opened a new exploratory frontier for Petrobras, which continues to drill at even greater depths to unlock presalt hydrobarbons.

Following initial development of the field, Petrobras announced that the P-53 platform, the first production unit installed in the Marlim Leste field, commenced operations on Nov. 30, 2008. The P-53 unit has total production capacity of 180,000 barrels per day of heavy oil, 20 degrees API, and compressing capacity up to 6 million cubic meters/day of natural gas. P-53 is expected to reach peak production during the first half of 2010.