Photo: Petrobras

Petrobras begins hunt for High-Pressure Separation technology developer

Petrobras, the operator of the Libra consortium, has started contracting suppliers for the design, construction, installation and testing of the High-Pressure Separation technology (HISEP) that aims to separate and reinject gas with high CO2 content produced alongside the oil while still on the seabed.

Contracting started after conceptual evaluations and pilot tests had been completed onshore, when Petrobras and the suppliers collaborated to carry out conceptual studies and validate the performance of the underwater pumps that will reinject the CO2-rich gas into the reservoir.

The manufacturer is expected to be selected by August 2022, with the equipment set to be installed in 2025.

According to Petrobras, HISEP could open up a new frontier of exploration and development of deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil production in regions where reservoir fluids with high gas-to-oil ratio and CO2 content are present. It is said to provide increased oil production by freeing up space in the surface gas processing plant.

Pilot testing is planned to be carried out in the Mero 3 area, which is expected to go into production in 2024.

After two years of testing, with the technology proven, HISEP may be used in other areas, such as Libra Central and Jupiter, where it has the potential to make the production development project feasible, the company said.

Once proven, it will also be possible to develop offshore production units with smaller and less complex gas processing plants, which have lower construction costs and deadlines, as well as lower operating costs.

Petrobras has been in partnership with suppliers for the development of the technology from the early stages of the process, for the definition and development of the solution to be adopted in the final product. The goal is to make the technology feasible, but also replicable and commercially advantageous to the market.

The companies have been consulted since 2017 to identify the equipment that they had already developed and that could be adapted for the project, as well as the main existing technological bottlenecks so that the project could become a reality.

Conceptual studies and performance tests have been developed with the partnerships, such as verification of the performance of subsea centrifugal pumps for injection of dense gas, rich in CO2.

The Libra Consortium is operated by Petrobras (40%), in partnership with Shell (20%), TotalEnergies (20%), CNPC (10%) and CNOOC Limited (10%), and is managed by Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A (PPSA).

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