Giant Libra oil field in Brazil starts production

French oil company Total has announced first oil from the Libra mega-field, located in ultra-deep waters 180 kilometers offshore Rio de Janeiro, in the pre-salt Santos Basin in Brazil. The Libra project is operated by Brazil’s Petrobras.

First oil is flowing into the Pioneiro de Libra FPSO, chartered by Petrobras from Teekay and Odeberecht consortium. The vessel, built in Singapore, arrived in Brazil in May this year.

The floating production, storage and offloading has a capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil. It serves as the early production system which will generate revenue, and enabling technical data to be collected to optimize the subsequent development phases that will include a larger FPSO.

“Total is pleased that production has begun on the giant Libra field, which is a multi-billion barrel resource,” said Arnaud Breuillac, President, Exploration & Production at Total.

He said Libra was a major asset in Total’s portfolio and fitting into the French company’s strategy of investing “in highly competitive projects with low break-even points.”

“The start-up is a major step in the development of this field, and Total is bringing its deep offshore expertise to the project,” Breuillac added. Beyond this early production phase, the Libra development will further continue with the next investment decision for the Libra 1 FPSO with a capacity of 150,000 barrels per day.

Worth noting, the start-up of production comes more than a year later than originally expected.

According to a recent article by the Brazilian newspaper O’Globo, delays with the FPSO construction in Singapore, along with “several equipment problems” found after arrival in Brazil, have delayed the startup.

Located in the ultra-deep waters of the Santos Basin offshore Brazil, the Libra field is one of the largest pre-salt oil discoveries ever in Brazil. The National Petroleum Agency (ANP) of Brazil estimates that Libra’s recoverable resources could range from eight to 12 billion barrels of oil and that its peak production could reach 1.4 million barrels per day.

The Libra field is operated by Petrobras (40%) as part of the international consortium whose other partners are Total (20%), Shell (20%), CNOOC (10%) and CNPC (10%).

Offshore Energy Today Staff