Petrobras found almost 100 hydrocarbon accumulations in the Campos and Santos basins, between 50 and 300 km off the Brazilian coast (under water depths from 80 to 2,400 m), which produce from very different types of reservoirs, including mostly (1) pre-salt coquinas and microbialites, (2) post-salt calcarenites, and (3) post-salt siliciclastic turbidites. These different types of reservoirs, containing also different types of hydrocarbons and contaminants provided many challenges for their production development, related to distinct tools and workflows for reservoir (static/dynamic) characterization and management, seismic reservoir characterization and monitoring, recovery methods (water injection, WAG, etc.), well spacing, well types and geometries, subsea systems, and processing capacity of production units.
Since the first oil and gas discoveries in the Campos (1974) and Santos (1979) basins, Petrobras continuously moved to aggressive exploration and production from shallow- to deep- and ultra-deep waters. During the last 40 years, the activities of reservoir characterization and management have also continuously evolved. Four major phases can be depicted: (1) shallow water fields developed with a large number of vertical or deviated wells (e.g. Namorado, and Pampo, Campos Basin); (2) deep water fields, still developed with a large number of wells, but now combining vertical/deviated and horizontal wells (e.g. Marlim and Albacora, Campos Basin); (3) deep to ultra-deep water, post-salt fields, containing light to heavy oil (13-31 °API) in siliciclastic turbidites and carbonates, developed with a relatively small number of mostly horizontal wells (e.g. Marlim Sul, and Barracuda, Campos Basin); (4) ultra-deep water, pre-salt fields with very thick (up to 400-500 m), light oil (27-30 °API) carbonate reservoirs, developed with largely-spaced vertical and deviated wells (e.g. Lula, and Buzios, Santos Basin).