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A Record Year for the Pre-Salt in Brazil

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/26/2016, Location: South America

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The year 2016 consolidated the pre-salt as the country's largest oil producer. In November, the region reached the milestone of one billion barrels of oil produced in the accumulated . Later this year, on 8 May, production n the pre-salt reservoirs exceeded the level of one million barrels per day.

Another important registry for the region happened in the route 2 gas pipeline, which reached, on November 15, the mark of two billion cubic meters of exported gas. All this was only six years after the first production system began operating in the Santos Basin, in the Lula field. These numbers confirm our technical ability to overcome challenges.

Pre-salt and Gondwana
Pre-salt began to form more than 100 million years ago. After the separation of the ancient continent of Gondwana, which gave rise to the formation of the continents of South America and Africa as we know it, beyond the Atlantic Ocean. As the two giant blocks of land separated, the great lakes emerged, initially accumulating organic matter. Over the years, this material gave rise to the pre-salt generating rocks, which were eventually covered by thick layers of salt, up to 2,000 meters.

The pre-salt is a sequence of sedimentary rocks. In the current Brazilian exploratory context, the possibility of finding the set of rocks with potential to generate and accumulate oil in the pre-salt layer is in the so-called pre-salt province. A polygon of approximately 800 kilometers long by 200 kilometers wide, on the coast between the states of Santa Catarina and Espirito Santo.

Efficiency in drilling ensures greater profitability to pre-salt wells
Over the last six years we have been able to significantly reduce the time for drilling wells in the pre-salt, without giving up the world's best operational safety practices.

The average time for construction of a marine well in the pre-salt of the Santos Basin was, until 2010, approximately 310 days. With the advance in knowledge of geology, the introduction of cutting-edge technologies and the increase of the efficiency of the projects, in 2015, this time lowered to 128 days; And in the first five months of 2016, to 89 days. A reduction of 71%.

Due to the knowledge accumulated in our operations and technological innovation, the average cost of pre-salt oil extraction has been gradually reduced over the last few years. From US $ 9.1 per barrel of oil equivalent (oil + gas) in 2014 to $ 8.3 in 2015, and reached a value of less than $ 8 per barrel in the first quarter of 2016.

Know who our Partners in the Santos and Campos Basin
Partnerships have been instrumental in achieving our goals and developing technologies that will ensure the records we have achieved this year in the pre-salt region. In all, we have eight partners. In the Santos Basin we are joined by Anglo-Dutch partners BG and Shell, Spain's Repsol Sinopec Brasil, Portugal's Petrogal, France's Total, and China's state-owned CNOOC.

In the Campos Basin, the partnership is with the Norwegian state-owned company Statoil and with the two other oil companies already mentioned above: Repsol Sinopec Brasil and BP.

To exploit pre-salt reserves, operating efficiently in ultra-deep waters, we had to develop our own technology and work in partnership with suppliers, universities and research centers. We hire drilling rigs, production platforms, ships, submarines, with resources that move the entire energy industry chain.

Pre-salt fruit of more than 50 years of accumulated knowledge
Pre-salt discoveries are among the most important in the world over the last decade. The pre-salt province is composed of large accumulations of light oil, excellent quality and with high commercial value. A reality that puts us in a strategic position against the great demand of world energy.

However, the challenge of the new exploratory frontier in the pre-salt was as great as its importance. The partnerships and knowledge we accumulated over the decades allowed us to inaugurate a new exploration model for reservoirs below the salt layer in the Santos and Campos Basins.

The pre-salt mapping in 3D
The results achieved during 2016 in the pre-salt region depended on multidisciplinary technological solutions. We have a radiography of the sub-salt of the pre-salt, all mapped in 3D numerical models. In order to gather this information, we gather knowledge of geophysics, geology and fluid dynamics. Effort that has guaranteed us an understanding of the geological models and the understanding of the nature of the region.

Long-term tests in Libra begin in 2017
After Lapa, Lula and Sapinhoa, in 2017, we will have another one of the promising pre-salt fields of the Santos Basin operating. Next year, it will be the turn to start the long-term tests in Libra. The region is already considered to be one of the most important world oil and gas frontiers.

The Libra Consortium is formed by Petrobras (operator with 40%), Shell (20%), Total (20%), CNPC (10%) and CNOOC (10%), -Sal Petroleo SA (PPSA).

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