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Petrobras brings Sapinhoá field well into production at 33,000 bopd

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Petrobras has announced that well 9-SPS-77, in the Santos basin’s pre-salt Sapinhoá field, went on-stream Feb. 18. The well, which produces 33,000 bopd, is interconnected to FPSO Cidade de São Paulo, through a pioneering system. In this system, the ascending section of the production pipelines is supported by a submerged buoy, anchored in the seabed and floating at a depth of 240 m. The well is at a water depth of 2,118 m.

In this position, the buoy, known as buoyancy supported risers (BSR), is immune to the movements of the platform. This concept enables the use, in some parts of the project, of rigid steel pipes (steel catenary risers–SCRs) at ultra-deep waters.

The buoy, which measures 40 by 52 m, and weighs 1,936 t, is attached to the seabed by means of eight steel tendons, at 1,828 m each, connected to four stakes fixed in the seabed. Subsea 7 built and installed the system. The installation of this buoy, which is capable of accommodating a total of three production wells and two injection wells, began in July 2013.

After buoy installation was completed on Dec. 25, rigid steel pipelines were installed by Jan. 22, to interconnect the first two wells. The connection of well SPS-77 to the FPSO was completed on Feb. 17, after installing the flexible pipelines and opening the well for production on Feb. 18.

The next production well is expected to be interconnected to FPSO Cidade de São Paulo by the end of the first quarter.

Three new buoys to come

This buoy is the first in a series of four to be installed in the Santos basin pre-salt fields, two of which are for Sapinhoá field (Sapinhoá Pilot Project–FPSO Cidade de São Paulo) and two for Lula field (Lula Nordeste Pilot Project–FPSO Cidade de Paraty).

FPSO Cidade de São Paulo, which has a processing capacity is 120,000 bopd, has been in operation since January 5, 2013, with the start-up of well SPS-55 directly interconnected to the FPSO.

FPSO Cidade de Paraty, whose processing capacity is 120,000 bopd, went into operation on June 6, 2013, with the production of well LL-11, also directly interconnected to the FPSO.

The second buoy, destined for Lula, was installed Feb. 7, and required less than one-third of the time spent in the first buoy, thanks to improvements introduced in the installation process. At this time, rigid steel pipelines are being connected to this buoy. Production is expected to start in second-quarter 2014.

The third buoy, destined for Sapinhoá, has been at its permanent location since Feb. 10, where connection to the foundations by means of steel tendons has already begun. Its installation will be concluded this quarter.

The fourth and last buoy, also destined for Lula, is in sheltered waters in São Sebastião, ready to navigate to its final location. It is expected to leave in March 2014, and its installation will be concluded in second-quarter 2014.

With the installation of the buoys and interconnection of the other wells, production through FPSOs Cidade de São Paulo and Cidade de Paraty will continue to rise gradually, until peak production is reached, what is expected to happen this year.



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