Petrobras extracts first oil from Tiro-Sidon
Petrobras gained first oil from its Tiro-Sidon early production system in the southern area of the Santos basin this week as it started tendering for a more permanent facility for long-term exports, writes Martyn Wingrove.
The Brazilian state energy group is using the semi-submersible production unit SS-11 Atlantic Zephyr to process oil from an extended well test and the Avare to store the crude before this is loaded on to shuttle tankers.
The Atlantic Zephyr can produce 20,000 barrels of oil and 475,720 cu m of gas per day and the 1976-built, 28,903 dwt Avare can store 210,650 barrels.
Petrobras will produce around 10,000 barrels a day from the Tiro and Sidon fields in two stages over the next two years using these facilities. Future plans will involve leasing a floating production storage and offloading vessel.
Monaco-based shipowner SBM Offshore said earlier this month that Petrobras had begun tendering for a leased FPSO for the project. It is thought the suezmax-sized FPSO will be designed to produce at peak rates of 80,000 bpd. If Petrobras awards a lease contract this year, then the FPSO could be in place by 2012.
Petrobras said the results of the extended well test would ?be important to define both the future development of the discoveries made in the southern pole of the Santos basin and the feasibility of installing an integrated production system in the region?.
Tiro and Sidon are in block BM S-40 in around 250 m of water close to other oil discoveries ? Cavalo Marinho, Caravela and Estrela do Mar. Petrobras estimated that it had found 150m barrels in Tiro and Sidon.
It hopes to find more oil in the region when it starts an exploration well in block BM-S-12, east of Tiro in the second quarter.
In the north of Brazil, Petrobras discovered more oil at its Piranema field this month in the Sergipe basin, where it has already deployed an FPSO leased from Norway"s Sevan Marine.