PetroRio licenses drilling campaign in Foz do Amazonas


PetroRio has begun licensing a campaign to drill up to three exploratory wells in the FZA-539 block area, in the Foz do Amazonas Basin. The company intends to use a rig with dynamic positioning for the drilling campaign, which will have wells in shallow water depths of 200 m.

According to PetroRio, two wells (1-APS-10B and 3-PP-1-APS) had already been drilled by Petrobrás in the 1970s, having discovered a gas accumulation, considered sub-commercial at the time .  The company intends to confirm the presence of hydrocarbon and determine the extent of this accumulation.

PetroRio also licenses a project for the acquisition of proprietary 3D seismic data in the area of ​​the exploratory block FZA-M-539, in the Foz do Amazonas Basin. In a recent exclusive interview with E & P Brasil, PetroRio CEO Nelson Tanure Filho said that a bidding for the campaign will be launched shortly.

The PetroRio campaign in Foz foresees the acquisition of 1,536 km2 of data during a period that should vary between 22 and 25 days. The company expects to start the acquisition in the middle of next year. The Port of Belém will be used as a support base for the campaign.

The FZA-M-539 block, bought in the 11th round of the ANP by Brasoil, entered the company’s portfolio after PetroRio bought 100% of the capital of Brasoil, an operation completed in March this year.

With the licensing request for drilling wells in Foz do Amazonas, PetroRio enters the list of companies that fight to carry out exploratory campaigns in the region. In May, IBAMA concluded in its Technical Opinion, No. 73/2018-COEXP / CGMAC / DILIC, that pending and uncertainties identified in the environmental licensing for oil and gas exploration in the region prevent Total’s continued licensing. In the Technical Opinion of IBAMA (n ° 72/2018-COEX / CGMAC / DILIC), the environmental body points out the Environmental Characterization of the Foz do Amazonas Basin, prepared by Total, BP and Queiroz Galvão, presents “gaps and incongruities that make it unfeasible. ” “Information from the companies about the physical and biotic resources is needed,” the document says.

The opinion on Total’s drilling campaign also indicates that the company had difficulty “in submitting a satisfactory Individual Emergency Plan (PEI)”, which is said to be one of the impediments for license release, in addition to the absence of a bilateral agreement between Brazil and France related to occurrences that involve oil spills. Companies can still complement the studies, but the saga to license the projects continue.

The licensing processes for drilling projects in Foz do Amazonas are accompanied by environmental conservation organizations, among them Greenpeace, due to the discovery of a huge area – at least 9.5 square kilometers – dominated by a rare coral reef, able to survive in the murky waters of the Amazon. Earlier this year, the NGO launched a mobilization campaign against oil exploration in the region titled “Defend the Corals of the Amazon.”

In March, the mining company BHP gave up the concession of two exploratory areas that it had bought in the region. The company returned to the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) the concession of exploratory blocks FZA-M-257 and FZA-M-324, in shallow waters of Foz do Amazonas, worth more than R $ 30 million. The withdrawal of the mining company left five companies with exploratory activity in the region: Total, BP, QGEP, PetroRio and Ecopetrol. Total continues to be the company with the greatest interest in the basin, with five exploratory blocks.

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