Photo: Guanabara FPSO; Source: MODEC

Petrobras kicks off production from giant Mero field

Brazil’s oil and gas giant Petrobras has started producing oil and natural gas through FPSO Guanabara, the first definitive production system installed in the Mero field, in the Santos Basin pre-salt offshore Brazil.

The production started on 30 April 2022 through the FPSO Guanabara, which is capable of processing up to 180 thousand barrels of oil and 12 million m3 of gas. This represents 6 per cent of the production operated by Petrobras, contributing to the company’s expected production growth. Mero is the third biggest pre-salt oil field, behind only Búzios and Tupi fields.

The Mero field has been in pre-production since 2017 with the 50,000 barrels of oil per day Pioneiro de Libra FPSO.

The Guanabara vessel arrived at the Mero field in late January 2022. During this period, it was connected to wells and subsea equipment and underwent final tests before starting production. In the first wave, six producing wells and seven injectors will be connected to the FPSO. The platform is expected to reach peak production by the end of 2022.

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This first phase will be followed by three additional development phases, with the Mero-2, Mero-3 and Mero-4 FPSOs, each with a production capacity of 180,000 barrels per day and production start-ups scheduled between 2023 and 2025.

Built and operated by Modec, the unit is located more than 150 km off the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro in water depths that reach 1,930 meters.

FPSO Guanabara has gas re-injection systems, where the gas production with 45 per cent carbon dioxide (CO2) content, after self-consumption in the FPSO, will be all re-injected into the reservoir to maintain pressure and improve oil recovery, in addition to reducing the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. The gas re-injection will be done alternately with water injection (Water Alternating Gas – WAG).

Additionally, Petrobras said that the Mero field is developing an unprecedented technology to separate, on the seabed, CO2-rich gas from oil for reinjection from the seabed, reducing the amount of gas reaching the FPSO, thus increasing the FPSO’s availability to oil and the project’s efficiency.

Petrobras noted that these initiatives are aligned with its commitment to reduce carbon intensity in the Exploration & Production area by 32 per cent by 2025.

The unitized Mero field is operated by Petrobras (38.6 per cent), in partnership with Shell Brasil Petroléo (19.3 per cent), TotalEnergies EP Brasil (19.3 per cent), CNODC Brasil Petróleo e Gás (9.65 per cent), CNOOC Petroleum Brasil (9.65 per cent) and Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A-PPSA (3.5 per cent), as the Federal Union’s representative in the non-contracted area.

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, commented: “This start-up, along with the entry into Atapu and Sépia fields, officially signed on April 27, will increase TotalEnergies production in the pre-salt Santos Basin, a key growth area for the company, by 30,000 barrels per day in the second quarter and by 60,000 barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2022 to reach 120,000 barrels per day by end of 2022.”