Chevron Boosts Production to 65,000 bpd at Brazil Oil Field

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Sep. 14, 2010

Chevron continues to ramp up production from its first offshore oil field in Brazil, pushing output from Frade up to 65,000 barrels a day, a company executive said Tuesday.

Drilling is about 45% complete at Frade, which sits about 120 kilometers off the coast of Brazil's Espirito Santo state, and has already completed six wells producing oil and two for injecting water back into the reservoir, Patricia Pradal, director of business development and government relations, said during a presentation at the Rio Oil & Gas 2010 conference.

"We have about 18 months of drilling left," Pradal said, adding that ultimately there will be 12 production wells and seven injection wells.

Frade has turned out to be a complicated reservoir to develop, and Chevron recently took a two-month drilling break to carry out more seismic imaging and better define areas to target, the executive said.

In June 2009, Chevron pumped the first oil from the Frade field, located 120 kilometers off the coast of Brazil's Espirito Santo state. Chevron joined Shell and Devon Energy in the select group of foreign oil majors producing crude in Brazil, where state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR), or Petrobras, dominates.

Frade has recoverable reserves of between 200 million and 300 million barrels of heavy crude, and at its peak, production should reach about 90,000 barrels per day, according to Chevron.

In addition, Pradal said that construction of a platform for the Papa Terra field, where Chevron holds about a 38% stake, should start by the end of this year. Papa Terra, which is operated by Petrobras, will feature Brazil's first offshore tension-leg wellhead platform, or TLWP, a type of platform very common in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico but hitherto unused in Brazil.

Petrobras holds the other 62% share in the field, and the overall development cost is expected to run to about $5.2 billion, with first oil production expected in 2013.

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