Brazil's Petrobras starts oil output at offshore Lula Nordeste field
BY JEFF FICK
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Petrobras said that it had started producing crude oil from an important offshore discovery, the third new field to start output so far in 2013.
The Cidade de Paraty floating platform will produce about 13 Mbopd from the Lula Nordeste pre-salt field in the first month, reaching peak output of about 120 Mbopd by the second half of 2014.
Petrobras plans to bring four more new platforms on-stream through the end of 2013 as the company attempts to boost flagging crude oil output. Production has stagnated over the past two years amid declining output at mature fields in the Campos Basin, where more than 85% of Brazil's crude is produced, and a series of maintenance shutdowns at aging offshore platforms.
Brazil is banking on the pre-salt discoveries to lift the country into one of the world's top oil producers. Billions of barrels of crude oil and natural gas were discovered trapped under a thick layer of salt off Brazil's coast. Lula Nordeste is part of the Lula discovery, which is estimated to hold recoverable reserves of as much as 8.3 Bboe.
The Cidade de Paraty is a FPSO, with installed production capacity of 120 Mbopd and 5 MMcmpd of natural gas. A single well is currently connected to the platform, and an additional 13 production and injection wells will be connected in coming months, Petrobras said.
Lula Nordeste sits in the BM-S-11 block operated by Petrobras with a 65% stake. The local unit of BG holds 25% and Energia has a 10% stake in the block.
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