Amapa Aguas Profundas: new exploratory frontier for oil and gas in Brazil

(epbr) It is Petrobras’ culture to develop petroleum frontiers of high geological complexity, demanding development and application of the most daring technologies. From the pioneering onshore exploration activities to the pre-salt layer, the company has stood out for creating innovative solutions to enable the exploration of these areas, helping to strengthen the national industry, energy security and the country’s economic growth.

Now, Petrobras has a new journey ahead: exploring the ultra-deep water region of the Brazilian Equatorial Margin, a region that goes from the State of Amapá, through Pará, Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, to Rio Grande do Norte.

This journey is as complex as the others that Petrobras has already experienced. And it is in this new frontier that the region known as Amapa Aguas Profundas, on the northern coast of the country, next to the border with French Guiana, stands out.

This region is considered promising because of its geological similarity to the sedimentary basins of Guyana and Suriname, where other companies have announced important recent discoveries of oil and gas, and the reserves in Guyana are already in commercial production through two FPSOs operated by ExxonMobil and two more already hired.

In view of this opportune exploratory scenario, Petrobras is conducting, together with the competent bodies, an environmental licensing process to drill the first well in the region. Named Morpho, this well is located in the FZA-M-59 block, about 160 km off the northern coast of Amapa and at a water depth of approximately 2,800 m.

This new frontier, will improve the path followed in the pre-salt layer, marked by the use of innovative technologies for safe operation and reduction of emissions. Will adopt the best ESG practices (set of environmental, social and governance practices), combining innovation and carbon emissions reduction.

These are technologies that apply state-of-the-art algorithms, data-based artificial intelligence and high-performance computers (HPC), remote operation and monitoring of drilling activities 24 hours a day. It will seek a new generation of oil fields, which will be able to compose the energy ecosystem of Amapa.


Currently, the licensing process for the exploratory activity of the FZA-M-59 block is in the phase of contracting and mobilizing resources for the execution of the pre-operational assessment (APO) by Ibama, scheduled for the last quarter of 2022. last step before issuing the Operating License.

In addition to the six concessions in the Amapa Aguas Profundas area, Petrobras holds exploratory rights for another 13 concessions on the Equatorial Margin, with plans to drill 14 wells over the next five years — with scheduled investments of US$ 2 billion by 2026.

Petrobras can only carry out exploration activities after obtaining the environmental operating license. Pereibras is still in the exploratory phase, which consists of prospecting for oil reserves.

However, if the existence of commercial oil in these areas is confirmed, the subsequent phase of production development will translate into more jobs, revenue and development of regional economies — and, initially, that of the State of Amapa.

Petrobras is facing a promising exploratory frontier, with important oil potential to be developed. Aligning technology and experience, it have all the conditions to operate in a safe and sustainable way, bringing new investments and opportunities for the development of the region and the country.

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