With more natural gas on the agenda, Petrobras sets the wheels into motion to charter two FPSOs

Brazilian state-owned oil and gas giant Petrobras has kicked off the contracting process for the chartering of two floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, which will be deployed at deepwater assets located in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin off Brazil to increase the country’s supply of natural gas.


These two FPSOs for the Sergipe Deepwater Project (SEAP), in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, about 100 km off the coast, will be strategic to expand the availability of national gas, besides opening a new production frontier in the Northeast region, according to Petrobras.

The company explains that each platform – SEAP I and SEAP II – will have the capacity to process up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). As the oil in the region is light – considered to be of good quality – between 38 and 41 degrees API, Petrobras highlights that it is of higher commercial value. The two FPSO units will have the potential to offer up to 18 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Jean Paul Prates, CEO of Petrobras, remarked: “The Sergipe Águas Profundas project stands out for its expressive reserves, with potential to boost the supply of natural gas in the country and reduce our dependence on imports of this input.

“Another advantage is that gas is the crucial fuel for energy transition. Not only for its versatility of application – as an energy source for the most diverse industries – and predictability of delivery, but mainly for its efficiency in emissions.”

Furthermore, Petrobras believes that the project opens a new horizon for investments with a substantial volume of gas, bringing a series of opportunities for the sector and for the states of Sergipe and Alagoas. In addition, it is expected to enable “a new technological milestone” in the country, which is the implementation of a production project at water depths above 2,500 meters – reaching up to 3,000 meters – incorporating innovations, outlines the Brazilian player.

Based on the firm’s statement, the two FPSOs will be chartered units and, in their technical specifications, the company used advanced solutions, such as improvements in the treatment and injection system for the water produced in the reservoir, and new technologies with greater efficiency in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Back in May 2018, Petrobras disclosed its plans to farm out parts of its ownership in four concessions – BM-Seal-4, BM-Seal-11, BM-Seal-4A and BM-SEAL-10 – located in deep water in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, across an exploration area of 44,370 square kilometres.

Come May 2022, the Brazilian firm revealed its intention to end the divestment process for a partial sale of assets located in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, effectively retaining its stake in these concessions. Petrobras expected a declaration of commerciality to be submitted to the Brazilian authorities in the second semester of 2020 for these concessions.

However, this was done in January 2022 when the oil and gas giant outlined its plans to develop seven deepwater fields in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin – Agulhinha, Agulhinha Oeste, Budião, Budião Noroeste, Budião Sudeste, Cavala, and Palombeta – with FPSO-type units, called Sergipe Deepwater I and II.

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Moreover, the SEAP I project covers the fields of Agulhinha, Agulhinha Oeste, Cavala, and Palombeta, located in the BM-SEAL-10 and BM-SEAL-11 concessions. Petrobras is the operator of the BM-SEAL-11 concessions with 60 per cent stakes – in partnership with IBV Brasil Petróleo (40 per cent) – and BM-SEAL-10, where it holds 100 per cent stakes.

On the other hand, the SEAP II project covers reservoirs belonging to the Budião, Budião Noroeste, and Budião Sudeste fields, located in the BM-SEAL-4, BM-SEAL-4A, and BM-SEAL-10 concessions, respectively. Petrobras is the operator of concessions BM-SEAL-4 with 75 per cent stakes – in partnership with ONGC Campos Limitada (25 per cent) – and BM-SEAL-4A and BM-SEAL-10, where it holds 100 per cent stakes.

Regarding Petrobras’ recent activities, it is worth noting that the Brazilian giant joined forces with Shell, thanks to a long-term deal inked between the two companies, as they embark on a quest to unlock new upstream and energy transition opportunities.