Petrobras has begun drilling a well (9-BUZ-48D-RJS ) in the Búzios field at a depth of 1,880m, off Brazil’s southeastern coast, according to data from oil and gas regulator ANP.
Búzios is the NOC’s biggest project, planned to absorb 35% of its US$40-50bn E&P capex earmarked for 2021-2025.
The pre-salt asset produced through four FPSOs 758Mboe/d (million barrels of oil equivalent per day) in August, according to the latest ANP figures. It is Brazil’s second largest field, behind Tupi (formerly Lula).
Petrobras plans to install at least eight platforms in the area, including FPSO Almirante Tamandaré, poised to become Brazil’s largest, whose charter and construction contract is being negotiated with SBM Offshore.
ANP said that 18 exploration wells are active, six of which are offshore. Aside from the new Búzios well, Petrobras is also drilling in block C-M-657 and in the Marlim, Albacora (Campos basin) and Sépia and Tupi (Santos) fields.
The company is drilling onshore wells in the Espírito Santo, Recôncavo and Sergipe basins.
Meanwhile, private companies BGM, Imetame, Eneva, Great Energy and Petrosynergy are drilling in the Espírito Santo, Parnaíba, Recôncavo and Potiguar basins.
ANP projects 29 exploration wells to be drilled this year, 10 of which offshore, requiring investments of 3.9bn reais (US$690mn), while 19 onshore wells are budgeted at 417mn reais.
In terms of production development drilling, the watchdog foresees 207 wells drilled this year (72 offshore), a slight increase over the 204 drilled in 2019. For 2021, 284 wells (74 offshore) are expected.
Total drilling investments are expected to reach 16.2bn reais in 2020 (15.8bn reais offshore) and 14.4bn reais in 2021 (13.8bn offshore), according to ANP.
A concern, however, relates to Petrobras’ reduction of exploration investments, from the US$11.5bn foreseen in its 2020-24 business plan to US$7bn for the 2021-25 period.
On the other hand, IOCs like ExxonMobil in the Santos and/or Campos and Sergipe basins, Premier Oil (Ceará) and Karoon (Santos) are expected to start offshore drilling campaigns next year.
Focused on offshore mature assets, PetroRio, Trident Energy, Perenco, BW Offshore and Ouro Preto Óleo e Gás may conduct revitalization campaigns in the Campos basin fields of Polvo, Tubarão Martelo, Pampo/Enchova, Maromba and Pescada, Arabaiana and Dentada.
Onshore, small and medium-sized companies such as Karavan Oil, Eagle Exploração, 3R Petroleum and Central Resources do Brasil are committed to recover more oil in fields acquired from Petrobras.
“There should be a gradual resumption of drilling, overall in the pre-salt, in addition to concession areas divested by Petrobras,” Paulo Fernando Melo, of PFM Associados, told BNamericas.
“Regarding the onshore segment, there could be an increase of activities if the oil barrel price is maintained or goes up, combined with support from [federal onshore program] Reate,” he added.
During the Mossoró Oil and Gas conference, which will take place from November 24 to 26, in Rio Grande do Norte state, the energy and mines ministry will hold a “Mesa Reate” meeting with private entities to discuss the main challenges in the onshore segment.
Anabal dos Santos Júnior, executive secretary of independent producers association Abpip, believes the main onshore activities in 2021 will consist of revitalizing former Petrobras fields.
“In the following year, I expect oil companies to start building up their campaigns, both onshore and offshore,”
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