Petrobras reveals Libra FPSO plans

Pioneira de Libra FPSO: integration work 80% complete

Brazil’s Petrobras has unveiled plans to install four large floating production, storage and offloading vessels at the giant Libra field in the Santos basin pre-salt province by 2023, as it looks to speed up development in the prolific carbonate play.

Fernando Borges, Petrobras executive manager for the Libra project, said all four FPSOs will be deployed in the north-western section of the field.

“We will start commercial output at Libra in the north-west because of the quality of the reservoir we discovered in that area”, Borges told a panel on the fourth and last day of the Rio Oil & Gas conference.

Production is expected to begin with the Libra pilot FPSO. Petrobras is currently tendering for a unit with capacity to produce 180,000 barrels per day of oil and 12 million cubic metres per day of natural gas to start operations in September 2020.

The Libra pilot will be followed by the Libra 2 FPSO, due to start production in June 2021. At the panel, Borges announced that Petrobras also intends to have another two units at Libra NW early next decade, including one in 2022 and another in 2023.

The Libra 2 floater will be similar in size with the Libra pilot FPSO, but Borges made no mention to the potential processing capacity of Libra 3 and Libra 4.

At the same panel, Orlando Ribeiro, Petrobras general manager of services and special operations for Libra, said the state-controlled company is already analysing options to charter larger units for the field in the future with capacity to handle up to 225,000 bpd.

Both the Libra pilot and Libra 2 FPSOs will have a total of 17 development wells each, including eight oil producers and nine injectors.

Libra has a high gas-to-oil ratio of 410 to 450 m3/m3, with carbon dioxide content of about 45% of the produced gas. This compares to a CO2 content of about 15% in the Lula pre-salt field.

“At first, we don’t see Libra as a gas exporter. For the pilot FPSO it makes sense, from an economic point of view, to re-inject all the gas in the reservoir to increase the oil recovery factor,” said Borges.

“For Libra 2, we are studying whether we can export part of the gas, but continuing re-injecting CO2.”

Before commercial production begins in 2020, Petrobras will run a series of extended well tests in the north-west section of the Libra reservoir.

According to Borges, integration work on the 50,000-bpd Pioneiro de Libra FPSO at Jurong Shipyard in Singapore is currently about 80% complete. The unit is due to enter operations for Petrobras in the first half of 2017.

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