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First FPSO in U.S. GoM starts oil production

Written by Nick Blenkey

Petrosbras GoM FPSOSEPTEMBER 14, 2012 — Petrobras reports that on September 6, it began oil production in the ultra-deep waters of the Chinook oilfield from the floating production, storage and offloading platform, FPSO BW Pioneer, moored some 250 kilometers off the coast of Louisiana in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The BW Pioneer is the first FPSO to produce oil and gas in the U.S. Gulf. Moored at a world-record water depth of 2,500 meters, it has a daily processing capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil and 500,000 cu.m of gas and storage facilities for 500,000 barrels of oil.

The Chinook No. 4 production well was drilled and completed in Lower Tertiary reservoirs (formed between 23 and 65 million years ago), a promising offshore exploration frontier located at a depth of around 8,000 meters. The well is connected to the FPSO by a system incorporating subsea equipment and lines, in addition to free-standing risers (vertical production lines). Oil will be transported to shore on shuttle tankers, and gas through pipelines.

Petrobras is the first company to develop an oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico using these technologies, which have tried and tested with excellent results in Brazil.

The Cascade and Chinook development projects were deployed in full compliance with Petrobras’ Safety, Environment, Energy Efficiency and Health guidelines, and these standards will be strictly maintained throughout this new production phase.

The production operations now under way in Cascade and Chinook consolidate Petrobras’ position as one of the major players in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Production in the Cascade field began in February 2012, and the concession is 100% Petrobras. In the Chinook field, Petrobras has a 66.67% interest, with the remaining 33.33% held by Total Exploration Production USA, Inc..

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