The consortium formed by Repsol, Petrobras and BG Group has begun commercial production at the Sapinhoá field, located in block BM-S-9 of the Brazilian pre-salt region. Production of high quality crude oil “will contribute decisively to the company’s growth plans for the coming years,” Repsol said in a press release.
Market analysts in Madrid welcomed the news as a “reason to recommend the stock,” and explained it fulfils expectations over the several strategic projects the Spanish group had previously announced. Brazil should represent at least a 4% of all forecast production in 2013, helping Repsol to reach some 10% growth.
The first producing well (Guara-1) with more than 25,000 barrels of daily production potential, has been connected to the Cidade de São Paulo platform, ahead of its scheduled start-up date. Further wells will be connected to the platform in the coming months to reach a production of 120,000 barrels of crude oil per day in the first half of 2014.
In a second development phase of the Sapinhoá field, the Ilhabela Cidade platform, with a daily production capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil and 6 million cubic meters of gas, will be installed and is expected to begin operation in the second half of 2014.
Block BM-S-9, is operated by Petrobras (45%) Repsol Sinopec Brazil (25%) and BG Group (30%). Sapinhoa is one of Brazil’s largest oil fields, with a total recoverable volume estimated at 2.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe.)
The start-up of production from this field marks an important milestone in Repsol’s growth strategy laid out in the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan and which contemplates growth rates higher than the industry average, to reach 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2016, with an annual reserve replacement rate of at least 120%. The Sapinhoá discovery (formerly known as Guará) was one of the world’s five largest finds in 2008.
The development of projects in Brazil, United States, Venezuela, Peru and North Africa within the framework of the current Strategic Plan is a result of the company’s “exploratory success since 2008, a period during which Repsol has made five of the greatest discoveries in the world,” the company remarked.
The Cidade de São Paulo platform is a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, anchored at a water depth of 2,140 meters, 310 km offshore Brazil. It has a capacity to process 120,000 barrels of oil and 5 million cubic meters of gas daily.
The high quality crude oil produced of an average density of 30° API will be transferred to tankers, and the gas will be transported through the Sapinhoá-Lula-Mexilhao pipeline to the Monteiro Lobato (UTGCA) treatment plant in Caraguatatuba, on the São Paulo State coast.