Brazil offshore
  • Owner: Shell
  • Stakeholders: Shell (50 percent), ONGC (27 percent), Qatar Petroleum (23 percent)
  • Cost: $2 million up to phase two
  • Start date: 2006
  • Phase three completion date: Early 2016

The Parque das Conchas project

April 16, 2014

Shell announced the farming down of a 23-percent interest in the Parque das Conchas (BC-10) project in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil to Qatar Petroleum International in January 2014 for $1 billion. Shell had first acquired this percentage from Petrobras in December 2013. The super-major now holds a 50-percent interest in the asset, for which it is the operator.

The Parque das Conchas (BC-10) project is a heavy-oil development spanning the Abalone, Ostra and Argonauta fields, each tied back to the Espirito Santo floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is moored in 1,780 metres of water with a capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). It is currently producing 50,000 barrels per day.


YOU SHALL NOT PASS: In a first for an Indian company, the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) imposed a right of preference in blocking Petrobras from selling a $1.54 billion, 35-percent interest in Parque das Conchas to Sinochem of China in September 2013. As the ONGC already had interests in the BC-10 block, they were able to refuse the sale. The Indian firm went on to acquire 12 percent of the sale, the remaining 23 percent of which went to Shell, prior to its sale to Qatar Petroleum International.

ONE-TWO PUNCH: The Espirito Santo was built by SBM Offshore in Singapore and reached the Campos Basin in 2008. Phase one comprised the connection of the Abalone, Ostra and Argonauta B-West reservoir fields to the unit via subsea wells and manifolds. Nine producing wells and one gas injector well were drilled by the Arctic 1 rig owned by Global Santa Fe, which became Transocean in 2007. The fields came online with first oil in July 2009. Phase two, initiated in October 2010, connected the Argonauta O-North field to the Espirito Santo in October 2013 at a peak production rate of 35,000 boepd. The project is the first to rely on subsea hydrocarbons separation and pumping and utilises a floating-rig surface blowout preventer for well drilling and completions. It is also pioneering the use of steel tube hydraulic and multi-circuit high-power umbilicals that provide power to 1,500-horsepower pumps on the sea floor, as well as steel lazy-wave riser technology on a turreted FPSO.

THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM: Approved in 2013, phase three comprises the installation of subsea infrastructure at the Massa and Argonauta O-South fields, also to be connected to the Espirito Santo, at a peak production of 28,000 boepd. “The investment is approved and we plan to start the production by the end of 2015, beginning of 2016,” André Araújo, country chairman of Shell, told TOGY. “In phase three we are reaching a new concession area, and we will continue using the same FPSO. We are aggregating more production in a new area of the block. Phase two is adding around 30,000-35,000 barrels per day and phase three has a similar perspective. Considering that we have a natural production loss in the blocks, we want to compensate at least the basic level of production,” he said.

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