Petrobras Intensifies Sergipe Basin Oil Search

Petrobras has unveiled a major exploratory drilling campaign in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin for 2010. The Brazilian oil majors' investments in Exploration and Production in Sergipe add up to R$1.5 billion.

Yesterday, Petrobras announced the discovery of a new light oil accumulation in Sergipe Basin reservoirs, after the completion of the drilling of exploratory well 3-PRM-12-SES, in the post-salt section of the Piranema area. The volume of economically recoverable oil has been estimated at 15 million barrels.

This discovery is the outcome of the exploratory strategy of intensifying work in areas that neighbor fields already in production, as was done in the Pampo and Barracuda fields in 2010, aiming to take advantage of the capacity of the existing facilities, to reduce production costs and to speed up the production of new volumes of oil.

Exploratory Drilling Campaign 

Petrobras' CEO recently presented its deepwater exploratory campaign for 2010 in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin. In addition to the exploratory campaign, Petrobras will invest R$1.5 billion in shallow waters and in onshore fields in Sergipe. A total of R$415 million will be invested in exploration.

The Sergipe-Alagoas basin has been producing in different reservoirs for some 50 years. In spite of the large amount of wells drilled onshore and even in the shallower water area, the deep waters there remain virtually unexplored.

In addition to meeting the commitments it took-on in the agreements with the ANP, the 2010 campaign aims to survey different geological targets in different parts of the Basin, in which geologists and geophysicists have identified good drilling opportunities. The results that were obtained, in addition to the perspective of incorporating important oil and/or gas volumes to Petrobras' portfolio, will also contribute to boosting the geological knowledge and to reduce the uncertainties for possible participations in future ANP auctions.

In deep waters, eight wells are slated to be drilled, two of which in the Piranema Field and six in different areas of the exploratory wells called BM-SEAL-4, BM-SEAL-10, and BM-SEAL-11, all of which operated by Petrobras. In shallow waters and in onshore fields, operations such as water injection and the revitalization of the Carmópolis field ($700 million), water injection enhancements and the revitalization of the Sirizinho ($260 million) and Riachuelo ($200 million) fields, in new Piranema Field zones ($280 million), and water injection and the revitalization of the Camorim and Dourado Fields ($1 billion), both in shallow waters, have been scheduled. Shallow water projects depend on the issuing of environmental permits.

In Petrobras' history, this is the first exploratory campaign of this magnitude in northeastern Brazil.

Drilling Rigs


Diamond Offshore's Ocean Winner semisub has been drilling well 3-PRM-12, in the Piranema Field, since early 2010. The geology and geophysics studies identified a potential accumulation located to the North of the field which, if the well is successful, may be quickly put into production for the FPSO Sevan Piranema. Drilling will be completed in late March 2010, and result assessments are expected to be started to estimate the potential there.

The preliminary results that were obtained during the well drilling procedures confirmed the existence of good, thick reservoirs. The type of hydrocarbon present there, however, can only be confirmed after both drilling and the assessment have been finalized.

After the drilling and assessment of 3-PRM-12, the rig will have to be shutdown for maintenance. In mid-November 2010, the SS-54 will return to Sergipe to drill the second well, the 7-PRM-13.


Four more wells are scheduled to be drilled in 2010 by the SC Lancer drillship, three of which in block BM-SEAL-10 (100% Petrobras) and one in block BM-SEAL-4 (75% Petrobras, 25% ONGC).

This rig's campaign will begin in April 2010, with the drilling of well 1-SES-157, located 3 km to the south of the Piranema Field. This is a project which, in the event of a discovery, may, after the assessment plan, be annexed to the field and its production can flow to FPSO Sevan Piranema.

The rig will then be moved to drill a well in block BM-SEAL-4. This is a project that will survey potential reservoirs located in the area.

Immediately after the well is drilled in Block BM-SEAL-4, NS-09 will return to the Piranema Field to drill two more wells, the Real and Crasto. Under the current timeline, the NS-09 will complete its operations in December 2010.


Two wells are scheduled to be drilled in 2010 with Diamond Offshore's Ocean Courage, one of which in block BM-SEAL-11 (60% Petrobras, 40% IBV) and one in block BM-SEAL-4 (75% Petrobras, 25% ONGC).

This rig's campaign will begin in May 2010, with the drilling of well 1-SES-158, located in block BM-SEAL-11. This is the project with the best exploratory potential identified by the geologists and geophysicists who work in the area.

After that, the rig will be moved to drill well 1-SES-156, in block BM-SEAL-4. This is a typical new frontier project that will survey potential reservoirs identified in 3D seismics.

Under the current timeline, the Ocean Courage semisub will complete its operations in mid-August 2010.



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