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Petrobras fires up P-66 FPSO at Lula

Floater is the first replica unit to enter operations in the Santos basin pre-salt province

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras has started output from the P-66 floating production, storage and offloading vessel at the Lula South pre-salt field.

The replica P-66 FPSO, the first of six identical units to be deployed in the prolific Santos basin pre-salt province, arrived at Lula South in late February after completing integration at the BrasFels shipyard in Rio de Janeiro state.

However, Petrobras was waiting for the final operating licence to start production, and after a five-month wait since the request was made last December, federal environmental regulator Ibama finally issued the permit on Wednesday night.

The P-66, which has capacity to produce 150,000 barrels per day of oil and 6 million cubic metres per day of natural gas, was installed in 2150 metres of water and linked to well 7-LL-60D.

Petrobras operates Lula with a 65% stake and is partnered by Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell on 25% and Portuguese outfit Galp Energia on 10%.

The unit is now the tenth FPSO to enter operations in the Santos basin pre-salt cluster, and the seventh such floater in the Lula field.

Later this year, Petrobras intends to begin production from the P-67 FPSO at the Lula North field and the Pioneiro de Libra FPSO, meant to run a series of extended well tests in the Libra area.

The Pioneiro de Libra FPSO arrived in Brazilian waters on Wednesday night. The unit, with capacity to produce 50,000 bpd and 4 MMcmd, is due to enter operations in July.