Petrobras starts oil production at pre-salt Lula Nordeste field


Petrobras starts oil production at pre-salt Lula Nordeste field


RIO DE JANEIRO -- Petrobras has started producing crude oil from an important offshore pre-salt discovery , the third new field to start output so far in 2013.

The Cidade de Paraty floating platform will produce about 13,000 bopd from the Lula Nordeste pre-salt field in the first month, reaching peak output of about 120,000 bopd by the second half of 2014. The field had initially been expected to start output May 28.

Petrobras plans to bring four more new platforms onstream 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. 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 floating production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO, with installed production capacity of 120,000 bopd and 5 Mcfd. 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 Group holds 25% and Portugal's Galp Energia has a 10% stake in the block.

Dow Jones Newswires

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