This article presents how the development of Sapinhoá field took place, covering the fast track transition and decision making process from appraisal phase to conceptual and basic engineering of Sapinhoá Pilot project, and its subsequent execution, highlighting the challenges, lessons learned and results obtained.

Located in Santos basin pre-salt cluster, 300 km off the coast of SÃo Paulo state, Sapinhoá field was discovered in June/2008, and quickly entered an evaluation program, which included appraisal wells, one extended well test and one early production system, performed by Petrobras (Operator) and its partners BG E&P Brasil and Repsol Sinopec Brasil.

Even though at the time a number of uncertainties to develop pre-salt areas was still present, such as reservoir heterogeneity, recovery method, fluid properties (including CO2 distribution along the reservoir), well construction technologies, riser qualification, among others, a fast track strategy was chosen. Therefore the implementation of a Pilot project was seen as a mean to provide valuable information for the remaining development of Sapinhoá and other fields in the pre-salt cluster.

In order to cope with these challenges, Petrobras and its partners chartered the FPSO Cidade de SÃo Paulo, with 120,000 bpd oil capacity and specifications capable to comply with different recoverable methods and produced fluids. Also, for the subsea system, a new riser concept was selected through a design competition process, the so called "SCR on BSR" (Steel Catenary Risers - SCR on Buoy Supporting Risers - BSR), with two large structures positioned approximately 250 meters below the sea surface, supporting from 22 to 28 of a mix of rigid and flexible risers and umbilicals.

Sapinhoá Pilot started its wells construction campaign in 2012 and currently plans to achieve scope completion with only 85% of the approved duration, due to the implementation of a series of improvements in well’s projects. The production unit was delivered before schedule, enabling start-up in early January 2013. Full capacity was achieved in July 2014, with only four producer wells, some with potentials of up to 35 thousand bbl/d. This was achieved after the successful installation of the innovative BSR project, which faced and surpassed a series of challenges in the construction and offshore campaign phases.

The paper describes the solutions adopted in all disciplines, from subsurface to topside facilities, and how uncertainties were mitigated in Sapinhoá Pilot development during engineering phases, and the challenges and lessons learned this fast-track project faced during construction and installation.

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