TOGY talks to
Resource recovery and field revitalisation in BrazilDecember 21, 2018
Solange Guedes, executive director of Petrobras Exploration and Production, talks to TOGY about strategies and initiatives meant to increase recovery rates from both onshore and offshore maturing fields. Petrobras Exploration and Production is the upstream arm of Brazilian state-owned hydrocarbons company Petrobras.
• On raising recovery offshore Brazil: “The increase in recovery in the Campos Basin is being implemented through 90 separate projects in the business plan for drilling, completion and interconnection of new wells, as well as maintenance projects, plans to increase the efficiency of production units, and the revitalisation of mature fields.”
• On boosting recovery onshore: “We will continue to develop oil and natural gas exploration and production activities at terrestrial fields and invest selectively, focusing on increasing the recovery factor. We are developing initiatives aimed at reducing extraction costs and extending concession contracts, making possible the increase of investments in these fields.”
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What are Petrobras’ main strategies to increase recovery at producing wells?
We constantly try to increase the recovery factor of our producing fields, and we have made investments both individually and through partnerships. Some of the main projects with this objective are those that are being developed in the Campos Basin, which seek to increase efficiency, extend the useful life of existing facilities, and implement interlocking projects and rejuvenation projects, as well as research into production opportunities in new exploratory areas next to the basin’s mature fields.
As such, the increase in recovery in the Campos Basin is being implemented through 90 separate projects in the business plan for drilling, completion and interconnection of new wells, as well as maintenance projects, plans to increase the efficiency of production units, and the revitalisation of mature fields.
Projects to increase efficiency and extend the useful life of existing mature fields result in an increase in recovery through optimisation, which allows production continuity up to the economic limit of existing facilities, or until new revitalisation projects come on stream in these fields.
In terms of revitalisation, the most advanced project relates to the Marlim and Voador fields, whose concession contracts have been extended by the ANP until 2052. According to this project, current platforms will be replaced by two units. Petrobras will use the existing wells and drill new ones to drain the oil that has not yet been reached. This same concept is being applied at ongoing studies for the revitalisation of the Albacora field, and for the installation of a new production unit at Parque das Baleias.
Other actions aimed at increasing the recovery factor pertain to the management of reservoirs and the development of new technologies. In this sense, it is worth mentioning the partnership with Equinor in the Roncador field, through which we intend to increase the recovery factor by at least 5%, which should mean an additional volume of approximately 500 million boe.
We are also looking to adopt new forms of business. Petrobras is developing an initiative to provide project solutions and services with the latest technologies to increase the recovery rates in mature fields. An example is the project for the revitalisation of Polo Canto do Amaro, located in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the Potiguar Basin. We launched a bid to hire services providers to revitalise these fields. Under the contract, the winning company will invest knowledge and technology in raising recovery rates, thus increasing the return to Petrobras. The company charges compensation based on the result of the total production obtained by Petrobras at Polo Canto do Amaro. From the results achieved, we will evaluate the application of the model in other projects on land and at sea.
What is the company’s vision for participation in onshore activities?
Petrobras has onshore fields located in eight sedimentary basins in Brazil. They are mature, some having gone through more than 50 years of production and well-known structures. As well as the smaller exploratory prospects, we continue to identify complementary developments in the terrestrial areas, bearing in mind already discovered volumes, reserves and remaining volumes.
We will continue to develop oil and natural gas exploration and production activities at terrestrial fields and invest selectively, focusing on increasing the recovery factor. We are developing initiatives aimed at reducing extraction costs and extending concession contracts, making possible the increase of investments in these fields.
In addition, our research centre, Cenpes [Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello Centre for Research and Development], continues to develop technological innovations focused on increasing production and recovery factors of producing reservoirs. Among these is BMF [multiphase pumping], a technology successfully implemented in the Carmópolis field in SE [Sergipe]. It is the largest onshore field in Brazil. The BMF is capable of pumping a mixture of oil, water and gas over long distances, while simultaneously reducing the pressure at the wellhead, which allows increased field production.
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