Photo: SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore and Petrobras firm up Mero FPSO deal

Dutch FPSO operator SBM Offshore has signed contracts with Petrobras for the 22.5 years lease and operation of FPSO Alexandre de Gusmão for operations off Brazil.

These contracts follow the signing of the binding Letter of Intent as announced on 3 August 2021 when the Final Investment Decision for the project was also made.

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FPSO Alexandre de Gusmão will be deployed at the Mero field in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil, approximately 160 kilometres from Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro state. This will be the fourth definitive system to be installed in the Mero field and SBM Offshore’s fifth MPF hull has been allocated to this project.

SBM Offshore ordered its fourth and fifth hulls under the company’s Fast4Ward program back in December 2019. The hulls were ordered from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and Offshore (SWS) and China Merchants Industry Holdings (CMIH).

Mero is a project under Libra Consortium responsibility, in which Petrobras is the operator with 40 per cent with partners Shell Brasil with 20 per cent, TotalEnergies with 20 per cent, CNODC and CNOOC Limited with 10 per cent each, together with Pré-sal Petróleo S.A. (PPSA) as manager of this contract.

Fast4Ward FPSO - SBM Offshore
Fast4Ward FPSO design; Source: SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore is progressing with the design and construction using its Fast4Ward programme. The FPSO will be capable of processing 180 thousand barrels of oil and 12 million cubic meters of gas per day. The first oil is expected in 2025.

The project foresees the interconnection of 15 wells to the FPSO, 8 of which are oil producers, 6 water and gas injectors, 1 convertible well from producer to gas injector, through a subsea infrastructure composed of rigid production and injection pipelines and flexible service pipelines. To date, the project has had four wells drilled and two completed.

Production of the first definitive Mero system (Mero 1) is scheduled to start in 2022, through FPSO Guanabara, followed by Mero 2 (FPSO Sepetiba), in 2023, and Mero 3 (FPSO Marechal Duque de Caxias), in 2024.