July 31, 2019
Petrobras and Equinor plan to reach the pre-salt of the Espírito Santo Basin with the drilling of the Monai prospect in block ES-M-669. According to the companies, the campaign will be fundamental for them to evaluate the exploration of other concessions acquired in the 11th round of the ANP, which, so far, have not presented areas of exploratory interest.
The information appears in the request by the oil companies to the agency to have the contracts of blocks ES-M-596, ES-M-598, ES-M-671, ES-M-673 and ES-M-743 suspended for 60 days. from the completion of the Monai well. This time would be necessary for operators to exercise the option of extending for two years the first exploratory period of the assets.
The action proposal to which Petróleo Hoje had access reports that the drilling schedule in Monai is not yet concrete and that Petrobras will still go to the market to search for a rig for the campaign.
Operators point out in the request that the pre-salt exploration in ES-M-596, ES-M-598, ES-M-671, ES-M-743 and ESM-673 – if the result of the Monai prospectus is positive – “it is considered a supervening fact”, since initially there was no opportunity to know if there was a pre-salt layer in the blocks.
The ANP Exploration Superintendence (SEP) then requested technical information on the correlation between the geology of the concession areas under analysis and that of block ES-M-669. In response, the oil companies reported that the quality of available seismic data is insufficient to assess the existence of plays in the pre-salt section in the areas adjacent to the ES-M-669, and further research is needed to diagnose their potential.
“In addition, information from the drilling of the Monai prospect would be critical to assist in the interpretation and creation of models,” said Petrobras and Equinor.
As published in June, the ANP rejected the companies’ claim. In its justification, SEP argued that the fact that the 11th Round announcement presents post-salt exploratory objectives is not an obstacle for operators to perform pre-salt exploration in the areas.
“Wait for the completion of a well in another concession area (Monai prospectus in contract area ES-M669_R11), so that, only after the drilling result, operators can choose to continue exploratory activities in the areas of the blocks ES-M-596, ES-M-598, ES-M-671, ES-M-743 and ES-M-673, depends on the strategy of each concessionaire, being part of the exploratory risk associated with the character of a concession. In this sense, there is no guarantee that, at the end of the proposed suspension, there will be continuity of exploratory activities in the areas of the blocks under consideration, ”noted the technical area of the ANP.
The agency’s board of directors then determined that the operators present, within 60 days, the documents required to sign the contractual amendment of the five blocks in question if they wish to exercise the option of extending their first exploratory period by two years – a possibility provided for by the resolution ANP No. 708/2017.
Petrobras is the operator of block ES-M-596, in partnership with Equinor, and of ES-M-669, with Equinor and Total. Equinor, in turn, is the operator of blocks ES-M-598 and ES-M-673, in partnership with Petrobras and Enauta, and of ES-M-671 and ES-M-743, in partnership with Petrobras and a Total.
Source: Petroleo Hoje