Photo: Noble Developer rig; Source: Noble

Brazilian field on track for first oil in 1Q 2023

Australia’s oil and gas company Karoon Energy has completed the drilling of two wells at a field, located in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil. The first oil from this field, which will be developed as a subsea tie-back, is slated for the first quarter of 2022.

Karoon hired a rig in April 2021 to perform well intervention on four wells on the Baúna field. Once the Maersk Developer rig, which is now called Noble Developer, was done with this campaign, it was expected to drill two development wells on the Patola field and one or potentially two control wells on the Neon oil discovery.

The Australian player added the Patola work to the rig’s backlog in June 2021 and the Neon option was added in May 2022. In late September 2022, the company announced that the rig would move to the Patola field, where the drilling operations for the first of two new development wells were expected to start in the following few days.

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In an update last week, Karoon reported that PAT-2, the second of two new production wells in the Patola field – located in the BM-S-40 production license in Brazil – has been successfully drilled to a total depth of 2,313 metres by Noble’s Noble Developer rig, which also drilled the first well, PAT-1.

The firm highlighted that both wells encountered high-quality Oligocene turbidite sandstones and preliminary interpretation of wireline log data has indicated net pay thickness in line with pre-drill expectations. According to Karoon, the reservoir quality is better than predicted and closely aligned with the PAT-1 well and wells in the adjacent Baúna and Piracaba fields.

Julian Fowles, CEO and Managing Director of Karoon, remarked: “Patola is Karoon’s first development project since taking over as operator of the Baúna concession. The first phase, drilling the wells, has been completed within schedule and budget. Most importantly there have been no material safety or environmental issues.

“The majority of the materials for the next phase of the development are now either onsite or ready to be shipped to site. Subject to weather and other unforeseen delays, the project is on track to commence production in the first quarter of 2023.”

Furthermore, the Australian firm’s remaining activities associated with the Patola development include the completion of both wells, installation of a subsea pipeline and umbilicals from Patola to the FPSO Cidade de Itajaí and tying the wells into existing riser slots on the FPSO.

Prior to commissioning the new facilities, the completion of the FPSO pipework to tie the wells into the main production stream will be undertaken. The first production from the Patola field is targeted in the first quarter of 2023, with a short plateau production rate of more than 10,000 bopd expected, prior to the onset of natural decline.

Commenting on this, Welligence Energy Analytics, said: “For independents like Karoon, this type of development strategy is compelling. Its short-cycle nature can yield attractive returns and it maximises utilisation of existing infrastructure. This lowers both costs (we expect opex to fall by $5-10/bbl once Patola is online) and emissions intensity. The company is targeting net-zero operations (scope 1/2) at the Bauna/Patola/Neon project by 2035.”

Following the Patola completion activities, Karoon underlined that the Noble Developer rig will move to the Neon field to drill the first of potentially two Neon control wells, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals.

The 2009-built Noble Developer is a DSS-21 column-stabilised dynamically positioned semi-submersible rig, able to operate in water depths up to 10,000 ft.