(Brazil)-Royal Dutch Shell has begun drilling a new evaluation well at its Brazilian BC-10 block and hopes to declare it commercially viable by the end of 2005. In an interview with Reuters, Shell Brazil Vice-President John Haney said that two wells will be drilled by November at a cost of $15 million per well. The BC-10 block has recoverable reserves of some 400 mmbbl of heavy oil.
Haney went on to say that the general concept of the project will likely include a floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO) with an artificial lifting system, risers for ultra-deep recovery and an onboard heavy oil processing system. The capacity of the FPSO is still under discussion, although the field is expected to produce between 60,000 and 100,000 b/d beginning in 2009.
Shell, which is the only foreign company producing any sizable amount of oil in Brazil alongside state oil company Petrobras, also expects to make a short-term production test next year at the BS-4 block in Santos basin. Although the BS-4 is a heavier crude than that at BC-10, Shell is confident that continuing technological advances will allow the extraction of the crude, which could reach 300 mmbbl.
Shell is investing $200 million in Brazil this year.