Petrobras plans for Chinook

PETROBRAS plans to bring the Chinook field on stream within the next two months aboard the floating production, storage and offloading vessel BW Pioneer, which has been producing since February when it achieved first oil with the first well on the Cascade field in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, writes Anthony Guegel.

The Chinook well has already been drilled and is awaiting ­final completion. It would be the second well tied back to the FPSO.

Petrobras plans a total of three subsea wells, two on ­Cascade and one on Chinook, to complete phase one development.

The second well on Cascade has just finished drilling and is next up for completion, according to Cesar Palagi, Walker Ridge Asset Manager for Petrobras America in Houston.

The completion work could be performed by the new drillship Titanium Explorer, operated by Vantage Drilling, which is under contract to Petrobras. The drillship is expected to enter the US Gulf next week and conduct sea trials before it begins working.

Cascade is flowing somewhere between 3000 bpd and 10,000 bpd, Palagi confirmed, but he would not disclose the precise rate.

Phase two and three of the Cascade-Chinook development call for as many as six subsea wells on Cascade and seven on Chinook, but Palagi cautioned that the plan is contingent on approval from Petrobras and its project partner, Total.

Indeed, Petrobras has been looking to sell assets to raise cash to pay for its list of giant field developments off Brazil.

Palagi said he had no knowledge of what, if anything, Petrobras was offering for sale from its Gulf of Mexico portfolio.

This week at a lunch ­organised by the Brazil-Texas Chamber of Commerce, Palagi said Petrobras has already ­begun sketching out options for a permanent production floater for phase three.

He said the FPSO was only on charter for ten years starting in 2012, and would have to be replaced, but he later told ­Upstream that all options were on the table.

“We may be producing those fields for a couple of decades,” Palagi said. “We are going to move one step at a time. There are plenty of challenges on this project. It’s unbelievable the amount of detail.”

“It’s very expensive to develop this Lower Tertiary play,” he added.

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