Brazil's Libra extended well test to double output

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Total output from the Libra extended well test is expected to double by the end of this month, reaching 40,000b/d, the project's general-director, Fernando Borges, told reporters.

The increase will come as a result of the beginning of a natural gas injection in the Santos basin pre-salt prospect, which is scheduled to take place in the coming days.

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The tests have so far resulted in a 500,000 barrel-shipment on behalf of state-owned Petrobras. The next load is earmarked for British-Dutch Shell, whose stake amounts to 20%.

Testing is being carried out via the Pioneiro de Libra floating platform (FPSO), which is evaluating the region where the second definitive production system of the Mero field will be installed.

LOCAL CONTENT

Petrobras launched a tender last week for a contract to construct and operate the new platform that will be capable of producing 180,000b/d and processing 12Mm³/d of natural gas.

According to Borges, the unit will have a similar level of local content as established by the partial waiver granted by Brazilian authorities to Mero 1(between 36% and 40%), whose charter contract was inked by Japan's Modec.

However, as a "protection strategy," Petrobras asked companies invited to participate in the tender to present two proposals, one based on required local content levels and another with lower local content levels - in the event the first turns out to be overpriced.

"It is a safeguard. But our expectation is that the market will be competitive enough to deliver a budget enabling us to hire the platform in line with the waiver approved for Mero 1," Borges said.

The executive added the consortium will analyze the possibility of adopting the new local content rules pursuant to a resolution to be published by local watchdog ANP in the coming months. According to the resolution, oil operators will be able to transfer reduced levels of local content, established from the 14th licensing round onward, to past contracts since they would give up the right of applying for local content waivers.

OPTIMIZATION

Scheduled to produce first oil in 2022 - one year after Mero 1 -, Libra's second definitive FPSO is expected to weigh between 30t-34t and be equipped with project optimizations, such as gas compression and dehydration systems.

The total cost of the new production unit should amount to approximately US$2bn. The company hired to build the platform will provide some 20% of the funding, with a pool of banks financing the rest.