Coronavirus delays second phase in Equinor’s Peregrino field, sources say

Apr 15,  2020

The activities for the second phase of development of Equinor’s Peregrino field, in the Campos Basin, were delayed by approximately two months, according to two sources with knowledge of the subject, in view of logistical difficulties related to the new coronavirus.

Peregrino is Equinor’s largest offshore operation outside Norway and currently produces 70,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the company’s website.

Currently, Peregrino is composed of two fixed oil platforms, coupled with a floating oil production, storage and transfer unit (FPSO).

As part of the Peregrino expansion project, Equinor is currently installing a third oil platform, which will add 273 million barrels of recoverable reserves to the 400 million that Peregrino holds. Equinor said it plans to produce the first oil at the unit later this year.

However, two sources with knowledge of the construction, who were given anonymity to speak on the topic, said that certain labor-intensive operations were being postponed due to the social distance measures adopted by the company.

One source estimated that the process of connecting the new platform to the FPSO, a vital step, was being delayed by approximately two months.

In a statement, Equinor acknowledged that it had made adjustments to its operations due to the new coronavirus, but said it was premature to determine its effects on the installation schedule.

“Equinor’s first priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and suppliers who work for us,” wrote Equinor spokesman Erik Haaland, in an email.

“Offshore completion activities continue on platform C, but the crew has been reduced as a preventive measure to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. It is too early to comment the effects of this on the schedule.”

Coronavirus has emerged as a significant concern for Brazil’s offshore oil industry.

As in other parts of the world, major oil companies are instituting mandatory quarantines and monitoring programs for employees before embarking, and companies have extensively extended sea shifts by one to two weeks to decrease staff turnover. Many non-essential maintenance activities have been postponed.

On Tuesday night, the national oil regulatory agency ANP reported that Brazil has already registered 126 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in oil and gas exploration and production companies, with 74 of these professionals accessing offshore drilling and production facilities .

There are still another 897 suspected cases under investigation, according to the agency, which avoided giving details about the professionals and companies involved.

Source: Reuters

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