Pre-salt plays buoy Brazil's offshore development plans

Increasing domestic oil production has been a long-term goal of the Brazilian government, and recent discoveries of large offshore, pre-salt oil deposits could transform Brazil into one of the largest oil producers in the world. It is estimated that Brazil has 12.9 Bbbl of proven oil reserves, the second-largest in South America after Venezuela.

David Paganie • Houston

Increasing domestic oil production has been a long-term goal of the Brazilian government, and recent discoveries of large offshore, pre-salt oil deposits could transform Brazil into one of the largest oil producers in the world. It is estimated that Brazil has 12.9 Bbbl of proven oil reserves, the second-largest in South America after Venezuela. Recent exploration efforts offshore Brazil have yielded massive discoveries of pre-salt oil fields, and the prospects for significant development opportunities have already led to a number of new plans, programs, and development activities.

Offshore managing editor Bruce Beaubouef, gives an in-depth report of Brazil's pre-salt development plans beginning on page 76.

Statoil brings Peregrino onstream

The start-up of the Peregrino heavy oil field in Brazil's Campos basin in April marked a major milestone in Statoil's international growth plans. Peregrino is the company's largest operated field outside Norway and the first it has brought onstream in Brazil. The field is in about 120 m (393 ft) of water, 85 km (53 mi) from the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

It has been developed with two wellhead/drilling platforms about 10 km (6.2 mi) apart, which send production to an FPSO stationed in-between. Once full production is achieved, Statoil plans to implement a series of IOR measures, which it uses extensively on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Thore E Kristiansen, Statoil senior vice president and head of the South America and Sub-Saharan Africa region, gives UK-based contributing editor Nick Terdre insight into the company's development plans offshore Brazil. The full report begins on page 73.

New rig orders surging

The influx of orders for new mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) continues. The combined effects of higher than expected crude oil prices, operators preferring newer, more efficient drilling units, and some degree of perceived stabilization in the global financial markets have propelled 2011 to become a record year in terms of the estimated total value of MODUs ordered with six months yet to go in the year, according toBruce Miller, ODS Petrodata, in a special report for Offshore. The estimated capex for newbuild rigs recovered from a low of $2.7 billion in 2009, to $24.7 billion year to date in 2011, a figure that already exceeds the previous record set in 2007. Miller's complete analysis begins on page 49.

Meanwhile, rig owners are actively renewing the older rigs in the fleet to meet new regulatory requirements and operator demand.Keppel FELS executive director, Aziz Merchant, gives an overview of the changes in the rig market, with respect to new technology, construction, and regional demand. The full interview by Singapore-based contributing editor, Gurdip Singh, begins on page 34.

Hess to host DOT

It is my pleasure to announce that Hess will host this year's Deep Offshore Technology Conference & Exhibition, Oct. 11-13, New Orleans, USA. This year marks the event's 30th year of technology exchange and its return to a once-a year schedule, and we are delighted that Hess is the host.

The operator brings a unique perspective to the event, given its active participation in international deepwater developments. For more information, please visit the conference website:www.deepoffshoretechnology.com.

To respond to articles in Offshore, or to offer articles for publication, contact the editor by email(davidp@pennwell.com).

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