Oil production began Feb. 25 from Cascade deepwater field into the Gulf of Mexico’s first floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, said operator Petrobras America Inc.
The BW Pioneer FPSO, on the Walker Ridge Block 425 about 165 miles offshore Louisiana, began receiving oil from the Cascade-4 well completed in Lower Tertiary reservoirs at a drilling depth of 26,200 ft. Cascade’s water depth of 8,200 ft is among the deepest in which an FPSO has been installed (OGJ Online, Apr. 10, 2008).
The FPSO, owned by BW Offshore and the first in US waters, has a capacity to process 80,000 b/d of oil and 17.6 MMcfd of gas (OGJ Online, Mar. 17, 2011).
Petrobras said the well is connected to the vessel platform by means of a system composed of subsea equipment and lines and free-standing production risers. Shuttle tankers will transport the oil to shore, and gas will move by pipeline.
Petrobras noted that it is the first company to apply this suite of production technologies, which are systematically applied offshore Brazil, in the gulf.
BW Offshore noted that the FPSO is fitted with an anchorage disconnect system that allows it to sail to sheltered areas in the event of a storm.
BW Offshore has a contract to operate on the Cascade and Chinook oil fields, with a firm period of 5 years and options for up to 3 more years.
Field interests are Petrobras 100% in Cascade field and Petrobras 66.67% and Total SA 33.33% in Chinook.