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FPSO Arrives in Brazilian Waters, Enroute to Petrobras’ Mero Field

In Brazilian waters, Petrobras eagerly greets the arrival of an FPSO vessel, journeying from China to the Santos Basin, Brazil’s third-largest oil field. The vessel, named FPSO Marechal Duque de Caxias, embarked on its voyage in February from Yantai, China, after a ceremonial christening on January 17, 2024. Making a stop in Mauritius, Africa, for crew change and cargo handling, the FPSO has now reached Brazilian shores.

Set to undergo commissioning and final equipment tests, the FPSO will soon commence operations in the Mero field, located in the pre-salt Santos Basin under Petrobras’ operation (38.6%), in collaboration with Shell Brasil (19.3%), TotalEnergies (19.3%), CNPC (9.65%), CNOOC (9.65%), and Pré-Sal Petróleo SA – PPSA (3.5%). Expected to be operational by the second half of this year, the FPSO Marechal Duque de Caxias, with its capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of oil daily and compress 12 million cubic meters of gas, forms part of Mero-3, enhancing the field’s daily production capacity to 590,000 barrels of oil.

Mero, Brazil’s third-largest field, accommodates three FPSOs: Pioneiro de Libra, Guanabara, and Sepetiba, with the latter recently joining production. Additional development phases, Mero-3 and Mero-4, each with a capacity of 180,000 b/d, are underway, slated for completion by 2025.

The FPSO Marechal Duque de Caxias will interconnect 15 wells, including eight oil producers and seven water and gas injectors, via a subsea infrastructure comprising 80 km of rigid production and injection pipelines, 47 km of flexible service pipelines, and 44 km of control umbilicals.

Evamar José dos Santos, PPSA’s Director of Contract Management, highlighted Mero’s significance as Brazil’s foremost oil producer, with last year’s production reaching 11.1 million barrels out of 17 million allotted to the Union.

Petrobras aims to introduce HISEP technology in Mero’s third production system by 2028, facilitating the separation of oil and gas at the seabed and the reinjection of CO2-rich gas. Equipped with carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies, the FPSO will enable the reinjection of CO2-rich gas into the reservoir, contributing to emission reduction efforts.

Aligned with its ‘Strategic Plan 2024-2028’, Petrobras plans to deploy 14 FPSOs between 2024 and 2028, investing $102 billion over the next five years, with $11.5 billion dedicated to advancing its decarbonization initiatives. Recently, Petrobras confirmed its final investment decision (FID) for the second phase of development in the Atapu and Sépia fields and contracted Seatrium for the construction of FPSOs P-84 and P-85, valued at approximately S$11 billion ($8.15 billion).

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