Petrobras to Turn on Taps at Baleia Franca Field

Petrobras announced it will start producing the first oil on July 14, from the pre-salt layer of the Baleia Franca Field, located about 85 km from the city of Anchieta (state of Espírito Santo), in the Parque das Baleias, Campos Basin. The Baleia Franca Field's pre-salt accumulations were discovered in December 2008.

The Production will start through the connection of the well 6-BFR-1-ESS to the FPSO Capixaba, chartered to Petrobras by SBM and previously operated in the Golfinho Field. Aiming to anticipate the production at the Cachalote and Baleia Franca fields, the platform was moved to Parque das Baleias, after some change in its process plant.

The Baleia Franca pre-salt well will start producing approximately 13,000 barrels per day (bpd) of light oil, estimated at 29o API. The full capacity of 20,000 bpd is expected to be reached later this year.

The project will use groundbreaking technologies designed to operate under the pre-salt geological characteristics, including new models of flexible risers (pipes used to flow the oil and which connect the well to the platform) and new technological solutions to the completion of the wells. The use of these technologies will improve operational efficiency and they represent a new phase in the development of the pre-salt reservoirs.

The FPSO is part of the Project for the Integrated Development of Cachalote and Baleia Franca, interconnecting the two fields. The platform has already been producing since last May in the Cachalote Field's pre-salt layer, through well 7-CHT-5HA-7-ESS, located 5 km away from Baleia Franca, and since June 2010 at well 7-CHT-7HP-ESS, with a total production of 44,000 bpd.

By the end of the year, is expected to be finalized the connection of the nine planned wells. There will be three flow and two injector wells at Cachalote, and three flow wells - two of which in the pre-salt layer - and one injector well at Baleia Franca. Production is scheduled to peak in December 2010, at an expected volume of 100,000 barrels of oil and 1.35 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.