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Petrobras, BG and Repsol-Sinopec Brazil to lease Carioca FPSO

Petrobras to send invitations to bid on Carioca FPSO

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolPetrobras and its partners, BG Group (BG) and RepsolSinopec Brazil, are preparing the invitation to bid (ITB) to be sent to the charter companies for the lease of a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel at Carioca in the Santos Basin.

Originally the Carioca FPSO was due to be one of the eight replicate FPSOs currently under construction at Estaleiro Rio Grande shipyard owned by the Brazilian engineering company Engevix’s offshore branch Ecovix.

Instead, Petrobras, BG and RepsolSinopec Brazil have decided to lease the FPSO to be moored at the Carioca oil and gas field.

In Carioca, Petrobras and its partners, share the working interests such as:

 – Petrobras 45% is the operator

 – BG 30%

 – RepsolSinopec Brazil 25%

In this joint venture, RepsolSinopec Brazil results from an alliance signed in October 2010 where both companies Repsol from Spain and Sinopec from China agreed to cooperate in exploration and production projects offshore Brazil.

Petrobras_Carioca_FPSO_MapIn this alliance, Repsol sold 40% shares of its assets in Brazil to Sinopec and kept the operating role of the alliance.

Carioca was discovered in 2007 in the BM-S-9 concession, 273 kilometers south Rio de Janeiro and 275 kilometers east of San Paulo, by 2,140 meters of water depth.

The first exploratory wells appeared immediately prolific as the flow rates were exceeding the capacity of the testing equipment.

The following appraisal wells performed in 2011 and 2012, especially the Carioca Norte, confirmed the significant presence of light crude oil and raw natural gas making Carioca one of the largest discovery in the pre-salt area.

Lying by 5,576 meters of total depth, the appraisal campaign unveiled also a significant percentage of carbon dioxide with some uncertainty still about the exact amount of this carbon dioxide.

Then, and in similar way to the other pre-salt crude oil fields, Carioca contains raw natural gas in such quantity that it cannot be flared.

Petrobras to re-inject gas and carbon dioxide in Carioca

The monetization of this gas at such long distance from the shore and in ultra deep water remains a challenge for Petrobras due to the costs of the requested export pipeline.

In a first phase Petrobras, BG and Repsol will use the gas to power the FPSO and the gas left, including the carbone dioxide, will be simply re-injected in the reservoir.

In a second phase, when the natural gas will have run out, Petrobras is planning to import this natural gas from another FPSO such a Sapinhoa, the closest field, or Lula that should have the higher capacity for export, in order to continue to power the Carioca FPSO and to inject the left part of the gas.

In this context where there is still some uncertainty about the optimized process to operate Carioca because of the carbon dioxide content rate and because of the required flexibility to handle the associated gas, Petrobras and its partners have preferred to begin operations in Carioca with a leased FPSO instead of the original wholly owned vessel.

For the same reasons, this Carioca FPSO should have a smaller size as it should be designed to produce:

 – 100,000 barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil

 – 5 million cubic meters per day (cm/d) of natural gas

By comparison, the eight replicate FPSOs would have a capacity of 150,000 b/d of crude oil.

Petrobras is planning to issue the call for tender in May in expecting the quotations from the engineering companies in June for the lease contract.

Among the bidders, Petrobras and its partners qualified:

Petrobras_FPSO – BW Offshore

 – Camargo Correa

 – Modec

 – Odebrecht

 – OSX

 – Queiroz Galvao

 – SBM Offshore

 – Schahin

 – Teekay Offshore

 In order to avoid any further slippage in the projects execution, Petrobras is encouraging the Brazilian shipyards to team up with the foreign engineering companies.

These alliances should reduce the number of bidders.

Despite all the pending questions about the exact nature of the reservoir, Petrobras and its partners, BG and RepsolSinopec Brazil are targeting the final investment decision (FID) at the end of 2013 for commercial operations to start in second half 2016.

 For more information and data about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_Tool

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