RIO DE JANERIO—As Petrobras works to shed 104 onshore fields in northeast Brazil from its portfolio as part of a divestment plan aimed at reducing the company’s debt and generating cash, one onshore field is getting a $600 million investment.
The Carmópolis Field, considered Brazil’s largest onshore field, is about to complete 54 years of activities. Petrobras announced in June that it is investing in the field in an effort to increase output.
“The long period of production of the field is due to investments made to increase the recovery fraction, which is currently 22%. This percentage is above the average level of similar fields with more than 50 years of activity,” Petrobras said in a statement. “It is expected that the final recovery factor of the field [will] reach 32% with investments planned over the next years.”
Located in the state of Sergipe in northeast Brazil, the Carmópolis Field is seen as a strategic asset by Petrobras. Though onshore activities are not the company’s primary focus now considering its massive offshore presalt resources.
Carmópolis has reserves of 1.76 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Spanning an area of 170 sq m (1,830 sq ft), Carmópolis has 1,056 oil wells with an accumulated production of 387 million barrels (bbl) of oil.
The Carmópolis Field has 13 production units, 11 collection and treatment stations and a gas pole production unit. With implementation of the new projects planned for oil flow, a new mesh will be built to flow the emulsion between the collection stations and Bonsucesso’s production unit. As for the gas flow system, the pipelines from the collection stations are sent to the compressor stations via a network of collection pipelines.
The field’s collection system consists of 59 collection satellites—43 satellites in the central area and 16 in the isolated areas—plus 11 collection and treatment stations. The new projects will increase the number of collection satellites to 63.
“The implementation of new technologies such as water and steam injection techniques made Carmópois a model to other onshore fields,” Petrobras added.
Known as a true school for the development of oil production in Brazil, Carmópolis is still home to technological innovation that can be even used offshore, including deepwater fields. The Multiphase Pumping System, a project designed by the Petrobras Research Center, is an example of how work at Carmópolis is important for Petrobras’ other E&P projects.
For decades, different technical tests—such as in situ combustion, polymers injection and multilateral and horizontal wells—have been implemented in the field.
Over the last years, Petrobras’ investments in the onshore field have gone toward reformulation of oil and water treatment systems and water injection. At a lower scale, the Brazilian state-owned company has also invested in steam injection.
Recently, Petrobras completed construction of a new treatment plant with the capacity to process 450,000 cubic meters a day. Brazil’s oil major also provided new gas compression systems and expanded the gas collection network of the Carmópolis, Mato Grosso and Sirizinho fields adding more than 130 km of pipelines.
Currently, Brazil has 7,800 active onshore wells—of which 96% are controlled by Petrobras—which together produce 143,000 bbl/d.
Due to successful E&P activities offshore, Brazil’s onshore segment has been put aside for decades. Yet, in order to reverse this process, Brazil’s government launched the Onshore Exploration and Production Revitalization Plan on Jan. 31. This plan, which combines a set of incentive measures, intends to double onshore output by 2030 through onshore auction rounds, local content rule exemption, tax cuts and policy supporting small producers.
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We recently attended the 25th annual edition of NAPE in Houston, which was a bigger affair than in 2016 or 2017—and certainly this time around, the aisles were full of people in a more upbeat mood.