Photo: The P62 FPSO at the Roncador field. Source: Equinor

Petrobras and Equinor add more barrels to Brazilian field output with IOR project start-up

Oil and gas companies Petrobras, the operator, and its partner Equinor have started production from the first two wells of the increased oil recovery (IOR) project at the Roncador field located offshore Brazil.

Announcing the start-up on Wednesday, Equinor said that this is an important milestone in the development of the field, increasing recovery rates, adding valuable production, and demonstrating the potential to leverage new technology.

Roncador is Brazil’s fifth-largest producing asset and has been in production since 1999. Petrobras is the operator of the field (75 per cent equity) with Equinor (25 per cent equity) as a strategic partner.

Equinor entered the Roncador field back in 2018 after buying a 25 per cent non-operated interest from Petrobras for about $2 billion, thereby tripling its production equity in Brazil.

The two wells are the first of a series of IOR wells to reach production. According to Equinor, the start-up is almost five months ahead of schedule and at half of the planned cost. The wells add a combined ~20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Roncador, bringing daily production to approximately 150,000 barrels and reducing the carbon intensity (emissions per barrel produced) of the field.

Through this first IOR project, the partnership will drill 18 wells, which are expected to provide additional recoverable resources of 160 million barrels. As detailed by Equinor, the main drivers behind a 50 per cent cost reduction across the first six wells, including the two in production, are improvements in well design and the partners’ combined technological experience.

Veronica Coelho, Equinor country manager for Brazil, said: “This milestone demonstrates the partnership’s ability to increase production and value through technology. We will continue combining our capabilities to improve recovery from Roncador and extract further value from the field. Petrobras will leverage its experience as one of the largest deep-water operators and pre-salt developers in the world and Equinor will draw on its technology, expertise and decades of experience in IOR on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.”

In addition to the planned 18 IOR wells, the partnership believes it can improve recovery further and aims to increase recoverable resources by a total of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The field has more than 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place, under a license lasting until 2052. The strategic alliance agreement also includes an energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction programme for Roncador.