Pre-salt: Equinor starts drilling in the Bacalhau field

(TN) Equinor Brasil, on behalf of the partners in the Bacalhau project, informs that Seadrill Management has safely started the drilling phase of the field. Drilling activities are being carried out by West Saturn, a rig adapted for subsea depths of up to 3,600 meters. The Bacalhau field is located in the Santos Basin, at a depth of more than 2,000 meters.

“The start of drilling at Bacalhau is an important milestone for Equinor’s growing portfolio in Brazil. We have contracted a sixth-generation, high-tech rig for the first phase of the drilling campaign. It is expected to generate around three thousand jobs during the development phase of Bacalhau, which means more local value for Brazil”, says Veronica Coelho, president of Equinor Brasil.

The West Saturn is equipped with features such as a dual turret and automatic drill control. The contract duration with Seadrill is four years, including four one-year extension options. The contract encompasses mobilization, modernization and integrated services.

In addition to West Saturn, a second rig contract was announced in July 2022 for Bacalhau. It was granted to Valaris and comprises a duration of 540 days, with an expected start date for 2023. In total, the Bacalhau Phase 1 drilling campaign will have 19 wells.

Once in production, Phase 1 of the Bacalhau field is expected to produce 220,000 barrels per day. The Bacalhau FPSO will also be the lowest emission autonomous vessel in the world due to the use of highly efficient Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGTs). The use of this technology will reduce emissions by 110 thousand tons annually.

The partners in Bacalhau are: Equinor (40%, operator), ExxonMobil (40%), Petrogal Brasil (20%) and Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A. (PPSA, manager of the sharing agreement; non-investor).

Bacalhau Facts:

Discovery was made by Petrobras in 2012

Equinor becomes operator in 2016

Bacalhau will be the first pre-salt field to be developed by an international operator

It is located 185 km off the coast of the municipality of Ilhabela/SP, in the state of São Paulo, in water depths of more than 2,000 meters.

Phase 1 development capacity: 220,000 bbls/day

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