FPSO Cidade de Itajaí; Source: Altera Infrastructure

Offshore field comes on stream after being connected to FPSO working in Brazil

Australia’s oil and gas company Karoon Energy has kicked off production from a well located on a field offshore Brazil, with first production rates surpassing expectations. In addition, the second well at this field is expected to come online by the end of the month.

FPSO Cidade de Itajaí; Source: Altera Infrastructure

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

The Australian player put the Patola work to the rig’s backlog in June 2021 and the Neon option was added in May 2022. Following the Patola completion activities, the Noble Developer rig was expected to move to the Neon field to drill the first of potentially two Neon control wells, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals.

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In an update last week, Karoon explained that the PAT-2 well – one of two new production wells drilled into the Patola field in the BM-S-40 production license in Brazil – came onstream on 15 March 2023 at a rate of 12,000 – 14,000 bopd. This followed the installation of a subsea flowline and umbilical connecting the well to the FPSO Cidade de Itajaí and the completion of well and infrastructure commissioning activities. The Brazilian player says that the production from the second well, PAT-1, is expected to begin by the end of March 2023.

Dr Julian Fowles, Karoon Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, remarked: “Achieving first production from Patola is a major milestone for Karoon and follows the successful completion of the Baúna intervention campaign. The very high rates we have seen in this first Patola well represent flush production which is expected to decline over the next few days to rates between 5,000 and 7,500 bopd.

“This is Karoon’s first new field development in Brazil and has been delivered with no material safety or environmental issues to date. The efficient execution of this project is testament to our technical, operational and commercial teams in Brazil and Australia, working closely with our service providers, and in collaboration with Altera & Ocyan, the operator of the FPSO.”

After an initial period of flush production, which Karoon highlights will likely last a few days, output from the two Patola wells is expected to stabilise at approximately 10,000 to 15,000 bopd, taking total production from BM-S-40 to more than 30,000 bopd, prior to natural decline commencing.

Depending on the reservoir and aquifer response, the Brazilian player underlines that one of these two production wells may be switched to water injection in the future, while any associated gas production from Patola will be reinjected into the Baúna reservoir through the SPS-89 gas injection well.

The Patola field, which lies in a water depth of approximately 280 metres, was discovered in 2011 by Petrobras with the SPS-91 exploration well, encountering 38 degrees API oil in the same Oligocene turbidite sandstones found in nearby Baúna and Piracaba, with similar petrophysical properties.

When June 2021 rolled in, Karoon announced its decision to proceed with the development of Patola, eight months after acquiring the BM-S-40 assets from Petrobras. Due to better reservoir quality than expected at both the PAT-1 and PAT-2 well locations, proven and probable (2P) reserves at Patola were upgraded by 1.7 MMbbl to 16.4 MMbbl as at 31 December 2022.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped deliver this exciting project, in particular those on the Noble Developer drilling rig and the team at TechnipFMC, who designed, fabricated and installed the Patola subsea infrastructure under an integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (iEPCI) contract, the first time this style of contract has been utilised in Brazil. I look forward to providing an update on production once both wells are on stream and commissioning is complete,” concluded Fowles.

Built in 1995 at the Jurong shipyard in Singapore and converted in 2012, the FPSO Cidade de Itajaí, which is capable of operating in water depths of up to 1,000 meters, started operating in Brazil in February 2013. This FPSO has the capacity to produce 80,000 barrels of oil per day and compress 2 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Regarding Karoon Energy’s recent activities, it is worth noting that the firm made a decision to drill the second well in February 2023 to assess the commerciality of a potential Neon field development.

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This came following the confirmation of net oil-bearing pay at the first well in the drilling campaign.