P-43 FPSO producing off Brazil; P-48 due

Peter Howard Wertheim
OGJ correspondent


RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 2 -- Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), Brazil's state oil company, started production Dec. 22 from its P-43 floating production, storage, and offloading vessel (FPSO) off Brazil.

It expects the P-48 FPSO to start producing oil by mid-March. The vessels each have the capacity to produce 150,000 b/d of oil and 6 million cu m/day of natural gas.

The FPSOs form part of the $2.5 billion Barracuda-Caratinga project in the deepwater Campos basin off Rio de Janeiro state. Technical and financial problems have delayed production expansion in the basin, leading to late delivery of the FPSOs, said Guilherme de Oliveira Estrella, Petrobras exploration and production director. The project initially was scheduled to begin in 2003.

The P-48 currently is moored in Caratinga field in the Campos basin while connections are being made to the 12 wells it will operate, said Estrella.

Following 11 years of production growth averaging 8.6%/year, Petrobras's production declined by 3% in 2004.

Production from the Barracuda-Caratinga project was supposed to offset output declines in other wells and maintenance stoppages in other production units.

Nevertheless, the Campos basin accounted for 80% of Petrobras's 2004 Brazilian oil output, which averaged 1.5 million b/d (OGJ, Aug. 9, 2004, p. 37).

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