Equinor issues major contracts for Bacalhau oil project offshore Brazil

Jan. 30, 2020
Equinor has awarded front-end engineering and design contracts for the Phase 1 development of the Bacalhau (ex-Carcará) area in the presalt Santos basin offshore Brazil.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, NorwayEquinor has awarded front-end engineering and design (FEED) contracts for the Phase 1 development of the Bacalhau (ex-Carcará) area in the presalt Santos basin offshore Brazil.

MODEC, which started pre-FEED work for the FPSO in late 2018, will handle the full FEED, with the Subsea Integration Alliance (SIA) between Subsea 7 and OneSubsea responsible for the SURF (subsea, umbilical, risers, and flowlines) FEED.

The contracts are based on a two-step award. FEED and pre-investment start now, with an option to progress to the execution phase under a lump sum turnkey contract that includes engineering, procurement, construction, and installation for the entire SURF and FPSO scopes.

Both are subject to a planned investment decision late in 2020. First oil should follow during 2023-24.

The Bacalhau field is 185 km (115 mi) from the coast of the State of São Paulo in water depths of around 2,050 m (6,726 ft).

According to Equinor, the FPSO will be Brazil’s largest to date with a production capacity of 220,000 b/d.

MODEC will be responsible for the design and construction of the FPSO, including topsides processing equipment, hull and marine systems, with SOFEC supplying the spread-mooring system.

This will be the second application of the company’s M350 hull, a newbuild double-hull design said to accommodate larger topsides and larger storage capacity than conventional VLCC tankers, also providing a longer design service life.

Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. in China will construct the hull. During the first year of production, MODEC will operate the vessel with Equinor taking on the role thereafter until the end of the license period in 2053.

Bacalhau’s development will include 19 wells, around 130 km (80.8 mi) of rigid risers and flowlines and 35 km (21.7 mi) of umbilicals. SIA’s scope will include post-start up life of field support.

The joint venture will perform project management and engineering in Rio de Janeiro with support from Subsea 7’s Global Project Centre in UK, France, and various OneSubsea offices. Offshore installations are scheduled for 2022 and 2023.

SIA added that Bacalhau is Brazil’s first ever integrated SPS and SURF project, while Equinor highlighted the high degree of standardization and industrialization for both the SURF and FPSO contracts, with around 60% Brazilian local content expected for the SURF.

Henning Berg, CEO, SIA LLC, said: “The award comes on the back of a design competition where we have demonstrated our ability to maximize asset value through our integrated field development service. This involves dynamically connecting reservoir, production and economic models with well, subsea infrastructure and topside facilities in a single, collaborative environment using the Subsea Planner collaborative field development solution.”

Margareth Øvrum, Equinor’s executive vice president, Development and Production Brazil, said the company planned to grow its production offshore Brazil to 300-500,000 b/d by 2030.

Equinor operates Bacalhau with a 40% interest, in partnership with ExxonMobil 40%, Petrogal Brasil 20% and Pré-sal Petróleo SA (PPSA, non-investor government agency).