Petrobras sees Lapa output near ‘immediately’

Coming online: Roberto Moro, Petrobras’ chief production development & technology officer

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras expects to start output from the Lapa field within days, as the company waits for the final operating licence to kick-start production from its ninth floating production, storage and offloading vessel in the Santos basin pre-salt province.

According to Petrobras production development & technology director Roberto Moro, federal environmental regulator Ibama is expected to issue the final permit in the next 24 hours.

“We are just waiting for that final licence to begin production at Lapa. The well is already linked to the Cidade de Caraguatatuba FPSO, so once we are cleared, production should start almost immediately,” Moro told Upstream on the sidelines of the Rio Oil & Gas conference.

Output at Lapa is running behind schedule. Petrobras originally deployed the Cidade de Caraguatatuba FPSO to the field in mid-June and was expecting to begin production in August, initially through a single well.

The floater, chartered from Modec International for a 20-year period, has capacity to produce 100,000 barrels per day of oil and 5 million cubic metres per day of natural gas.

Petrobras operates Lapa with a 45% stake and is partnered by Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell on 30%, with Repsol Sinopec on 25%. The field is estimated to hold recoverable resources of 459 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Earlier in the day, Moro made a presentation at a parallel event at Rio Oil & Gas, saying Petrobras wants to adopt a new business model for the contracting of equipment.

“We see the need for a new model in our engineering projects. We want to start looking at our projects from back to front in order to develop a new business strategy,” Moro said at an engineering forum.

He added the cost of an FPSO operating for Petrobras in Brazil is above the international average, and that local engineering can have a key role in cutting redundancies.

“Sometimes I see some upstream and downstream projects with designs from the 1980s,” Moro said.

“Having new operators in the Brazilian oil and gas industry may help local engineering with new ways of thinking projects, and that may even benefit Petrobras.”

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