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  • Deepwater development off Brazil presents unique challenges


    P. A. Fischer

    In 2000, Shell began exploration drilling that resulted in the discovery of six fields in Block BC-10 in northern Campos Basin, 60 mi off the coast of Espirito Santo, Brazil. Subsequently, a substantial exploration and appraisal program involving 13 wells was conducted, as well as the needed engineering and pre-FEED studies for commerciality. Of the six discoveries made in the block, four were declared commercial in December 2005. In keeping with governmental wishes, the area was named the “Parque de Conchas” (Park of the Shells), with individual fields named after seashells. They are: Ostra (Oyster), Abalone, Argonauta and Nautilus. Recoverable reserves estimates are 400 million bbl of oil for the combined fields. Water depths in the area range between 4,900 and 6,900 ft (1,500 and 2,100 m), while the horizontal distance across the fields is about 13 mi. The fields are remarkable shallow sub-seafloor at 2,950 to 3,940 ft (900 to 1,200 m).

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