An Ultradeepwater Heavy-Oil Development Offshore Brazil
- Karen Bybee (JPT Assistant Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 42 - 43
- 2010. Offshore Technology Conference
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- 258 since 2007
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This article, written by Assistant Technology Editor Karen Bybee, contains highlights of paper OTC 20537, "Parque das Conchas BC-10 - An Ultra- Deepwater Heavy Oil Development Offshore Brazil," by K.H. Stingl, Shell International E&P, and A. Paardekam, SPE Shell Brazil E&P, originally prepared for the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 3-6 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
Parque das Conchas is an ultradeep-water heavy-oil development in the northern Campos basin offshore Brazil. The project is a joint venture between Shell, Petrobras, and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India. The first phase of the project is the development of three independent subsea fields tied back to the centrally located turret-moored floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) host facility, the FPSO Espirito Santo.
The Parque das Conchas development grew out of a substantial exploration and appraisal program beginning in 2000 in which 13 wells were drilled and six discoveries were made. The Declaration of Commerciality was signed with the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency in December 2005, and the project was sanctioned in November 2006. The four main reservoirs—Ostra, Abalone, Argonauta B west, and Argonauta O north—were named after shellfish indigenous to the area. Together, they form “Parque das Conchas,” or “Shell Park,” in Portuguese. This is the first project in Brazil taken by Shell from exploration discovery to production. First oil from Phase 1 was achieved on 12 July 2009, just 9 years after discovery.
Abalone, Ostra, and Argonauta B west are small-to-medium in size and stratigraphically complex, with highly faulted, compartmentalized, unconsolidated sand packages. The reservoir pressures are low, and the oils range from heavy to light, ranging in gravity from 17 to 42°API. A fourth heavy-oil field, Argonauta O north, will be tied back as part of Phase 2 and is planned to be ready for production in 2013. The Argonauta O north field contains 16°API oil and will require waterflood for reservoir-pressure support.
The Phase 1 subsea infrastructure consists of 10 producing wells and one gas-injection well connected by 100 km of insulated and uninsulated flowlines ranging in size from 6 to 12 in., 15 flow-line sleds, two production manifolds, two artificial-lift manifolds housing a total of six vertical subsea-separation caissons with 1,500-hp electrical submersible pumps (ESPs), and 25 rigid jumpers, all of which are serviced by approximately 30 km of multicircuit high-voltage electrohydraulic (HVEH) umbilicals connected to the FPSO.
The gas is processed on the FPSO, and to avoid flaring and to reduce CO2 emissions, it currently is being injected into a gas-injection well. A dedicated 40-km-long 6-in. uninsulated Parque das Conchas trunkline has been installed from the FPSO and will be tied into the Petrobras Caipixaba gas-export pipeline at the Petrobras BC-60 location scheduled to be operational in 2010. The oil is stored on the FPSO and offloaded to shuttle tankers as required.
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