Equinor's Brazilian Peregrino C platform produced its first oil on Oct. 10, launching Phase 2 of the platform's performance, according to a company statement released on Oct. 13.

Peregrino Phase 2 will consist of lengthening the field life to 2040 while adding an extra 250 MMbbl-300 MMbbl of oil production. In addition, a new platform, with drilling facilities and living quarters included and connecting to the existing Peregrino FPSO, is also part of Phase 2, as well as a new pipeline to import gas for power generation to the platform.

The project, scheduled to begin in late 2020, suffered start delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic but delivered within the original allotted US$3 billion cost estimate.

“I am thrilled that we have started production from the new Peregrino C platform," executive vice president of projects, drilling and procurement Geir Tungesvik said in the press release. "Covid-19 has made Peregrino Phase 2 a challenging project, and I want to thank everyone involved for delivering the project with excellent HSE [health, environment and safety] results.”

Peregrino Phase 1 consists of two wellhead platforms - Peregrino A and B - that support an FPSO offshore Brazil in the Campos Basin. The field has already produced over 210 MMbbl of oil since it began production in 2011.

Peregrino Phase 2 also anticipates reducing expected carbon emissions per barrel by 50% throughout the field remaining lifetime by switching from diesel to gas for power generation, aligning with the company's low carbon strategy. Through this change, Equinor expects to eliminate 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year in the Peregrino field.

Additionally, the platform employs the latest digital technologies to further reduce carbon emissions and optimize productivity, such as a 3D model of the platform for operators to use from an iPad in the field.

"I am proud that Peregrino Phase 2 will increase field production to 110,000 barrels per day at plateau whilst halving our emissions intensity,” executive vice president of exploration and production international Al Cook commented.

The company was forced to cut its Phase 2 workforce several times during the pandemic-related project start delay, but the project will now provide 350 long-term jobs in Brazil, both onshore and offshore, the company stated.

“The start-up of Peregrino Phase 2 is an important milestone in Equinor’s growth strategy in Brazil," Cook added. "This project showcases how we can bring valuable new resources onto production at the same time as investing in technology to cut carbon emissions."

The Equinor-operated Peregrino field is the largest operated field in the company's portfolio outside of Norway. Equinor holds a 60% stake while partner Sinochem holds the remaining 40%.