New offshore platform comes on stream in Campos basin

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's newest offshore oil platform, P-36, has begun producing 14,800 b/d of oil from Roncador field. Meanwhile, Petrobras is considering revamping its financing scheme for the Roncador development.

RIO DE JANEIRO�Petroleo Brasileiro SA's newest offshore oil platform, P-36, began production on May 16 in Roncador oil field. The field is in Campos basin, off Rio de Janeiro state, in water depths ranging from 1,500 m to 2,000 m.

Roncador has estimated reserves of 3 billion bbl. The platform's first well, Roncador-9, is producing 14,800 b/d.

P-36�a semisubmersible drilling-production platform�is the first permanent production system for Roncador field. Until now, Petrobras has produced Roncador oil via a pilot production system.

Start-up of the platform launches Phase 1 of Roncador development. In this phase, the northern and eastern areas will be developed with 21 wells. Aside from the P-36 host unit, a processing plant will be connected via flexible flow lines to the 21 subsea producers and 5 water injectors, and production will be transferred to the P-47 floating storage and offloading unit via three export lines, two umbilicals, and one SCR.

Rocador production is expected to peak at 180,000 b/d of oil and 7 million cu m/day of natural gas next year. This output will contribute to the Petrobras target of reaching 1.3 million b/d by the end of 2000, up from 1.1 million b/d as of last fall.

Total investment for Roncador is estimated at $2 billion, for which Petrobras has been trying to secure outside project financing.

Project financing on hold
Petrobras is considering revamping its project financing method for Roncador, however, says Petrobras Finance Director Ronnie Vaz Moreira.

He told reporters in Rio de Janeiro that Petrobras may secure financing through export-import promotion agencies and from its own capital. In the past, in order to increase its financing capacity beyond government restrictions, Petrobras negotiated several financings with private companies.

The new approach could see the company's investment budget increase to $5.49 billion this year. Petrobras is negotiating with the government to increase its Year 2000 budget from the current $3.02 billion to $3.57 billion, says Moreira.

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