New Pre-Salt discovery at the Marlim Field

by Claudio Paschoa 4. June 2010 10:33

This new pre-salt discovery in the Campos Basin, highlights the potential for new discoveries in both the pre and post salt layers of this mature basin, which up to now has been the main O&G producer in Brazil and until recently was considered by many as not having much more to give in terms of new reservoirs.
new presalt discovery at the marlim field

Petrobras announced the discovery of a new accumulation of light oil (29o API) in the pre-salt layer of the Campos Basin, in water depths of 648 meters at the Marlim field.
Marlim is located in the north-eastern part of Campos Basin, in water depths ranging from 648m to 1,050m. It has some 102 production wells and 50 injection wells. Over 80km of rigid pipelines and 400km of flexible lines have been laid on the field.
The new discovery was the result of the drilling of the exploratory prospect known as Brava, performed by means of well 6-MRL-199D-RJS, located 170 km away from the city of Macaé, state of Rio de Janeiro.
The accumulation discovered in pre-salt carbonatic reservoirs is nestled at a depth of 4,460 meters. Drilling was made to a total depth of about 5,000 meters to reach the reservoir, of which 1,000 meters of salt. Preliminary estimates indicate potential recoverable volumes at about 380 million barrels of oil equivalent there. Tests will be made to assess the productivity of these reservoirs.
The discovery is located in the area near the installed infrastructure in the Marlim and Voador fields, and the discovery well is located 4.5 km from the platform P-27, a fact that should not only facilitate field development, but also can reduce CAPEX.
The Marlim field will soon host the world's first system for deepwater subsea separation of heavy oil and water, including reinjection of water to boost production in this mature field development.
FMC is the contractor at the Marlim field. The subsea separation system is being jointly engineered between FMC’s operations in Brazil, Norway and the Netherlands.  Final manufacturing and integration activities will be performed at the company’s Rio de Janeiro facility, with deliveries projected to begin in 2011.
The investments that have been made in subsea equipment installation at the Marlim field are massive and over 600 meters deep is considered deepwater. It´s good news indeed that the pre-salt layer there is showing good results as this increases the probability of new pre-salt   reservoir discoveries in the area and also shows us the magnitude and importance of the pre-salt to the future of the Brazilian O&G market. Things are definitely looking good.
 
Claudio Paschoa

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Petrobras Introduces Oil-Water Separator at the OTC 2010

by Claudio Paschoa 4. May 2010 22:04

The Petrobras oil-water subsea separator pilot project includes the qualification test, design and construction of a prototype to be installed in the Marlim Field, at the Campos Basin.
petrobras introduces oilwater separator at the otc 2010

During the OTC 2010 in Houston, Petrobras unveiled its subsea oil-water separation, which is being developed by FMC Technologies. This system will push the limits of the subsea three-phase separation envelope to deep waters and heavy oil. Petrobras and FMC are performing an extensive qualification test program for the key components of the separation unit.
The increasing produced water rate, its respective treatment costs and limited processing capacity at the existing platforms are the main drivers for Petrobras to move towards a subsea three-phase separation and reinjection system.
On the other hand, this technology may also grant production anticipation, increase of the oil recovery factor, and the possibility of longer tie-backs and/or smaller production units.
The system is being testes at the giant Marlim field, in the Campos Basin. The production platform that will control and receive the production of the prototype is P-37, at the Southern area of the field, in a water depth around 870m. The production well assigned to the prototype separator is the MRL-141, that produces a 22°API oil, and the water will be re-injected through the RJS-488 well. The producer is located 2,400 m from the platform and 320 m from the separator. The reinjection well is 2,100 m away from the separator. In this scenario the new technology will allow a reduction on the amount of water handled by P-37 process plant, opening the possibility of an increase of the oil production from other wells.
The key challenge of this system is to meet the reservoir tolerance for the correct specification of the separated water that will be re-injected. Other challenges are the very stable emulsion (up to 80% water in oil) character, the slurry deposits and the provision of chemicals to guarantee free water on the separator.
Petrobras decided for a tubular three-phase gravitational separation concept for its first
deepwater heavy oil separator, because of its higher capability of granting a robust solution for such scenario. The contract for testing, design and construction was signed by Petrobras with FMC late August 2009, and consists of a qualification program that started December 2009 and is planned to end in June 2010. The installation is planned to the third quarter of 2011.
 
Claudio Paschoa
Illustration courtesy of FMC Technologies

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