Photo: Peregrino Phase 2; Credit: Ricardo Santos - Equinor

Equinor produces first oil from new platform in Brazil

Equinor’s new platform in Brazil, Peregrino C, produced its very first oil on 10 October at 20:00 local time. Peregrino is Equinor’s largest operated field outside Norway.

Peregrino phase 2 will extend the Peregrino field life to 2040. Phase 2 adds 250-300 million barrels of oil, while at the same time halving expected CO2 emissions per barrel over the field’s remaining lifetime, Equinor said in a statement on Thursday.

In operation, the new platform will provide 350 long-term jobs offshore and onshore in Brazil.

Peregrino phase 2 consists of a new platform with drilling facilities and living quarters tied in to the existing Peregrino FPSO, as well as a new pipeline importing gas to the platform for power generation.

Located in the Campos Basin, the Peregrino field started production in 2011. However, production was suspended in April 2020 when a ruptured water-injection riser was detected during a leak test. The Norwegian player executed a “major” programme of maintenance, upgrades and repairs on the FPSO vessel operating at the field and installed a new platform, Peregrino C. The production resumed in July 2022.

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The project was on schedule for planned start-up in late in 2020 when Covid-19 hit it hard, leading to cuts in the workforce several times in the crucial and normally labor-intensive hook-up phase. Still, Peregrino phase 2 is delivered within the original $3 billion cost estimate, Equinor said.

Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s executive vice president for Projects, Drilling & Procurement, said: “Covid-19 has made Peregrino phase 2 a challenging project, and I want to thank everyone involved for delivering the project with excellent HSE results.”

In line with Equinor’s low-carbon strategy, measures have been taken to reduce CO2 emissions from the Peregrino field. By switching from diesel to gas for power generation on Peregrino C, phase 2 will avoid 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from the Peregrino field per year.

This will also reduce costs and simplify logistics in the operational phase.

The new platform is also equipped with the latest digital tools, like a 3D model of the entire platform that operators can use on an iPad in the field. This improves cooperation offshore and between the platform and the onshore operational support team in Rio de Janeiro.

Al Cook, Equinor’s executive vice president for Exploration & Production International, said: “The start-up of Peregrino Phase 2 is an important milestone in Equinor’s growth strategy in Brazil. This project showcases how we can bring valuable new resources onto production at the same time as investing in technology to cut carbon emissions. I am proud that Peregrino Phase 2 will increase field production to 110,000 barrels per day at plateau whilst halving our emissions intensity.”

Cook will be leaving Equinor next year following his appointment as a CEO of a diamond company.

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