Petrobras’ offshore assets

June 11, 2019

Submarine equipment, vessels, rigs and platforms: the enormous network that the company maintains to develop its deepwater assets.

Since the discovery of the Garoupa field in 1974, Petrobras has embarked on a successful path to developing offshore reserves, becoming a world reference in E & P in deep and ultra deep waters and raising Brazil to the status of oil power.

Today, 85% of the oil and gas production of the oil company comes from deepwater fields in the pre-salt (1.2 million boed) and post-salt (1 million boed), which requires that the state oil company maintain a huge submarine installations, platforms, rigs, support vessels and oil tankers.

In the subsea part, Petrobras has 53 manifolds, 421 wet Christmas trees (ANMs), 5.536 thousand km of flexible lines and 3.628 thousand km of umbilicals. These numbers are sure to grow as the projects foreseen in the company’s business plan (2019-23) are put into practice.

In all, the oil company operates 133 platforms along the coast, with 77 fixed, 37 FPSOs, 14 semisubmersibles, three FSOs, a TLWP (Tension Leg Wet Platform) and a Floating Production Unit (FPU).

By 2023, 11 new FPSOs in the fields of Berbigão, Atapu, Mero 1, Sépia, Búzios 5, Integrated Parque das Baleias, Mero 2, Revitalization of Marlim 1, Sergipe Deep Water, Itapu and Marlim Revitalization are scheduled to be operational .


“We have no preference for type of contract for FPSO. We believe in the portfolio balance with different types of contracts, but what we see in the market is that there are models that are between the charter and the EPC, such as BOT [Build-operate-transfer] “, explained the general manager of the Hiring Strategy and Supplier Management of Petrobras Dimitrios Magalhães during a presentation at Nor-Shipping 2019 in Oslo, Norway.

ativos offshore

Before production, however, is exploration. This work is done by a set of 14 rigs, of which nine are drill rigs and five semi-submersibles drill rigs. The company also has intervention rigs, the Well Stimulation Vessels (WSVs) Siem Helix 1 and 2, Helix Energy.

To transport professionals and supplies to the rigs and platforms and support the installation and maintenance of submarine equipment, Petrobras maintains a contracted fleet of 244 support vessels.

There are 65 PSVs; 59 Line Handlers / UTs / Ps; 36 AHTSs, 16 PLSVs, 12 SDSVs, nine RSVs and 11 other types of boats. Although this fleet is expected to remain stable in the coming years, between 30 and 50 vessels will need to have their contracts renewed each year, Magalhães predicts. The expectation is that in 2019, there will be ten bids to charter up to 50 units.

Petrobras’ offshore production reaches its final destination thanks to the work of a fleet of 175 vessels. In 2018, these vessels transported 160 million tons of oil to different points along the Brazilian coast, as well as other countries of the American continent and Asia.

The charter plan for this year provides for the Time Charter of 34 vessels, more than half of them medium range. By 2023, the dynamic positioning (DP) fleet should jump from 21 to 27 vessels.

Offshore project portfolio

Currently, Petrobras operates 67 exploration blocks in the country, distributed in the Campos (11), Sergipe (9), Potiguar (9), Santos (7), Jequitinhonha (7), Espírito Santos (6), Pelotas ), Camamu (4), Pará-Maranhão (3), Barreirinhas (3), Pernambuco-Paraíba (2) and Almada (2) Basins.

The 114 fields operated by the state company are located in the Campos (49), Santos (28), Potiguar (13), Sergipe (8), Espírito Santos (7), Ceará (4), Camamu , Recôncavo (1) and Alagoas (1) Basins.

In order to meet E & P activities in these basins, Petrobras uses ports in the states of Rio de Janeiro (Docas, Porto do Rio, Porto de Niterói, Porto de Macaé and Porto do Açu), Espírito Santo (Port of Vitória), Bahia (Base Naval da Marinha, Aratu), Sergipe (Port of Aracaju), Rio Grande do Norte (Port of Guamaré) and Ceará (Port of Paracuru).

Ten years of the Santos cluster

In May, Petrobras completed ten years of production in the Santos Basin pre-salt, its crown jewel. During this period, 16 platforms connected to more than 150 wells were installed in the cluster, which account for 90% of all production in the Brazilian pre-salt.

Extraction costs below $ 7 a barrel and high field productivity raise the pre-salt to one of the most competitive frontiers in the industry. Of the country’s 30 most productive wells, 29 are in the basin, with average production per well reaching 25,000 bopd, about four times more than wells in the Gulf of Mexico, for example.


In the pre-salt Santos Basin are located the three largest producing fields in Brazil: Lula, with nine systems in operation; Sapinhoá, with two systems; and Búzios, with four. The field of Mero has also shown promise. With only one well connected to the FPSO Pioneiro de Libra, the asset has already surpassed the mark of 60 thousand boed, indicating high future potential.

“Ten years after the first oil from Tupi, we have not only developed unprecedented solutions to overcome the challenges in the pre-salt, using the highest technical competence, but we have proven its economic viability and we have hit a succession of records. We have plenty of reasons to celebrate this date, “said Petrobras E & P director Carlos Alberto Pereira de Oliveira.

In April this year, Petrobras’ production in the pre-salt layer hit two new records: a monthly average of 1.94 million boe, reaching a daily peak of production of 2.07 million boe. In addition, on May 16, production operated in the Lula area exceeded the daily mark of 1 million bopd.

The company’s accumulated production in the pre-salt reached 2.5 billion boe in only a decade, a volume that corresponds to every proven reserve in Argentina, for example. Today, the pre-salt of the Santos and Campos basins already accounts for approximately 60% of the national production.

Source: BE Petroleum

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