TotalEnergies Drilling Again in Brazil

(PetroleoHoje) In the coming days, TotalEnergies EP will start a new campaign in Brazil. The works will be carried out in the Lapa field, in the Santos cluster, and in the C-M-541 block, located in ultra-deep waters in the Campos Basin, contemplating well abandonment and exploratory drilling activities.

The two campaigns will be carried out by the Valaris Renaissance drillship (DS-15), recently chartered from Valaris to operate for a period of 400 days. The rig, which arrived in Brazil in July, is already on its way to Lapa, its first location.

Initially, the DS-15 will make a first well abandonment in Lapa. For now, there is no confirmation on the total number of wells that will be abandoned in the asset.

There is a possibility that the Lapa and C -M-541 campaigns will be executed interspersed. Initially, the rig contracting process for Brazil only provided for the execution of exploratory work in the Campos Basin asset. During the negotiation process with Valaris, however, Total Energies EP decided to include well abandonment activity in the Santos cluster project, expanding the scope of the charter contract.

The activity in the Lapa field will not only mark the return of Valaris to the Santos cluster project, but also the resumption of its activities in Brazil. The drilling company operated the DS-9 for the French oil company from mid-2019 to April 2020, running a campaign in the pre-salt asset.

TotalEnergies EP’s campaign on the C-M-541 will include the drilling of two exploratory wells, one in the Marolo 1 prospect and the other in Ubaia 1, in water depths of 2.980 thousand m and 3.015 thousand m, respectively. IOC’s projection is that each operation will take about 100 days.

Block CM-541 was acquired by TotalEnergies EP in partnership with Qatar Petroleum, in the 16th Round, in 2019. The asset is the only exploratory project in the Brazilian portfolio operated by the oil company, in view of the recent decision to return the CE-M -661, in the Ceará Basin, and the strategy of leaving Foz do Amazonas.

The Lapa and C-M-541 campaigns will not only mark the resumption of activities by TotalEnergies EP and Valaris, but also the debut of the DS-15 drillship operation in Brazil. The rig came from Mexico, where it was operating for CNOOC, especially to meet the French oil company’s contract.

The DS-15 arrived in Brazil in July, awaiting the mobilization process near Ilha de Pai e Mãe, in Niterói. Negotiations between Total Energies EP and Valaris to charter the rig lasted over six months.

The former TotalEnergies EP contract with the DS-9 provided for the possibility of extending a charter to carry out abandonment campaigns for two or more wells in Lapa. The oil company chose not to exercise the extension, interrupting the contract still in the exploratory work execution stage.

Although Total did not reveal the reasons for the strategy at that time, the decision was attributed to the drop in the price of a barrel of oil and the worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil. The extension of the contract was taken for granted, even before the crisis.

The original contract provided for the drilling of four firm exploratory wells in Lapa, with the French oil company carrying out only three drillings. The campaign was aimed at the Northeast area of ​​the asset.

TotalEnergies EP took over the operation of the Lapa field in early 2018, when it acquired 35% of Petrobras’ stake through a strategic agreement, later assuming the remaining stake in the Brazilian oil company. The company holds a 45% stake in the asset, with Shell (30%) and RepsolSinopec (25%) as partners.

In operation in 2016, Lapa produces 65.6 thousand boe/day.

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