Petrobras, the operator of the Libra consortium, started contracting suppliers to execute the design, construction, installation and testing of HISEP®, a technology patented by the company that aims to separate and reinject, still on the seabed, gas with high CO2 content produced alongside with the oil. The contracting started after conceptual evaluations and pilot tests were completed onshore, when Petrobras and the supplier companies worked in partnership to carry out conceptual studies and to validate the performance of the underwater pumps that will reinject the CO2-rich gas into the reservoir. The expectation is that the manufacturer will be selected by August/2022 and that the equipment will be installed in 2025.
HISEP® could open up a new frontier of exploration and development of deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil production in regions where reservoir fluids with high gas-to-oil ratio and CO2 content are present. HISEP® will provide increased oil production by freeing up space in the surface gas processing plant. Pilot testing is planned to be carried out in the Mero 3 area, which is expected to go into production in 2024. After two years of testing, with the technology proven, HISEP® may be used in other areas, such as Libra Central and Jupiter, where the innovation has the potential to make the production development project feasible. Once the HISEP® technology is proven, it will also be possible to develop offshore production units with smaller and less complex gas processing plants, which have lower construction costs and deadlines, as well as lower operating costs.
Petrobras has been in partnership with market companies in the manner understood by the concept of early engagement, i.e., with the involvement of suppliers in the development of the technology from the early stages of the process, for the definition and development of the solution to be adopted in the final product. The goal is to make the technology not only feasible, but also replicable and commercially advantageous to the market.
Since 2017, the companies have been consulted to identify the equipment that had already been developed by them and that could be adapted for the project, as well as the main existing technological bottlenecks so that the project could become a reality. Over the years, conceptual studies and performance tests have been successfully developed with the partnerships, such as verification of the performance of subsea centrifugal pumps for injection of dense gas, rich in CO2.
The Libra Consortium is operated by Petrobras (40%), in partnership with Shell (20%), Total (20%), CNPC (10%) and CNOOC Limited (10%), and is managed by Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A (PPSA).