The Petrobras (40%), CNODC (20%) and BP (40%) consortium returned to ANP the sharing contract for the Peroba exploratory block, which was won in the 3rd pre-salt auction, held in 2017.
The area is the first failure of the production sharing auctions, which were resumed under the Michel Temer government after the end of Petrobras’ single operation.
Only one exploratory well was drilled in Peroba, at a water depth of approximately 2,100 meters and approximately 300 km south of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
The result of the drilling, completed in February 2019, identified an accumulation of gas, with CO2 as the main fluid, according to information from the ANP.
The entire area was returned by the consortium in January. The information was confirmed by the ANP to the epbr agency.
The consortium had offered 76.96% of oil surplus to the Union to keep the Peroba area, which was also disputed by two other consortia: Equinor and ExxonMobil; and Shell and CNOOC.
It’s Peroba’s second devolution
It is not the first time that Peroba has been returned to the Union without confirmation of viable discoveries.
The block was part of the initial areas of the transfer of rights in the Santos Basin, integrating the contract signed between the Union and Petrobras in 2010 as a contingent area.
A technical note made by the Chamber of Deputies, based on ANP reports and which helped to base the approval of the transfer of rights project in the Chamber, predicted that the volume of original oil in situ for Peroba would vary between 0.81 billion barrels ( low estimate) and 3.37 billion barrels (high estimate), the best estimate being 1.85 billion barrels.
According to the GCA consultancy’s report, based on the extension of its area, an eventual development of Peroba would require two FPSOs with a capacity of 50 thousand barrels per day and connected to nine production wells and nine injection wells.
The best estimate of recoverable resources was 364 million barrels, at an initial flow of 14,500 barrels of oil per day per well.
16 production sharing contracts
With the official return of the Peroba block, the country has 16 production sharing contracts, all managed by PPSA, which represents the Union in the business.
Five companies operate exploratory blocks under the production sharing regime, with Petrobras being the main operator in terms of volume of areas with nine blocks.
At the end of 2019, Petrobras started the first drilling campaign in Uirapuru, where Petrogal, Equinor and ExxonMobil are partners.
After having to repeat the well twice, the company completed the drilling of well 1-BRSA-1373B-SPS, in March last year. No discovery announcements have been made by the company since then in the Peroba project.
Shell operates three of the assets and has already drilled the Sul do Gato do Mato block, which is next to the BM-S-54 block, where the Gato do Mato discovery is located, a project that will receive an FPSO with a capacity of 90 thousand barrels per day of oil and 8.5 million m³ per day of natural gas.
The bidding for the contracting of the company that will be responsible for the project is currently in progress.
Shell also drilled in Alto de Cabo Frio Oeste, where CNOOC and QPI are partners. The campaign was completed in December 2012 and no discovery announcement was made.
Shell’s most recent campaign on production sharing projects was carried out in the Saturno area, a partnership between the company and Chevron.
The pioneer well 1-SHEL-33-RJS was drilled, completed, also according to ANP data, in June 2020 without any discovery announcement. According to the ANP, the well is dry. Even signs of oil have been identified, but the main fluid is water.
ExxonMobil is expected to drill in 2021 its only production sharing operation in the country, the Titan block. The company hired Seadrill’s West Saturn rig, which is already in Brazil.
In January, it received an environmental license from Ibama to start the block drilling campaign with the potential for discoveries in the pre-salt in the Campos and Santos basins. The total area of the blocks is approximately 3.2 thousand km², with a water depth between 2.6 thousand and 3.1 thousand meters. The nearest point is about 200 km from the coast.
BP also works on the licensing of up to three exploratory wells for drilling an exploratory well in the Pau Brasil block area, in partnership with CNOOC and Ecopetrol. The company is forecasting a firm well for the project and others depending on the result of the first.
BP’s goal was to start drilling the first well in August last year, but the company managed to get more time with the ANP.
US $ 122.7 billion in investments
The development of the production sharing contracts in force represents an investment demand of US $ 122.7 billion, between 2021 and 2030, peaking in 2028, when six new FPSOs come into operation. The estimates were presented by PPSA at the 3rd Pre-Salt Petroleum Technical Forum, held in November last year and transmitted by the agency epbr.
The investment projection considers the entry into operation of 24 FPSOs and the construction of 387 wells. It does not consider new auctions, such as the contracting of Atapu and Sépia surpluses, in the transfer of rights, which will be offered in 2021.
The study considers FPSOs with an oil production capacity between 50 thousand and 220 thousand barrels / day, depending on the size of each field.