Three independent oil companies are planning sizeable investments to revitalise operations in the Campos basin off Brazil, while state-controlled oil giant Petrobras pledged to continue as the main protagonist in the prolific play.

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Anglo-French player Perenco has committed to investments totalling $190 million to potentially increase by five-fold production in the mature Pargo, Carapeba and Vermelho shallow-water fields.

“We intend to restore operational capacity of our platforms and improve recovery factor by four percentage points at each field. We are currently producing from two platforms and the other five are offline,” Leonardo Caldas, Perenco Brazil institutional relations director, told a panel at the Rio Oil & Gas 2020 digital conference on Tuesday.

Eyes on output growth

Perenco took over operation of the Pargo cluster a year ago and so far has been able to lift output from 3000 barrels per day of oil to 4100 bpd.

“By 2024 our goal is to bring production from Pargo to the levels seen in 2015 at approximately 20,000 bpd,” Caldas added.

The company has plans to charter a floating storage and offloading vessel to have more flexibility on marketing its oil. The idea is to have the FSO operational by late next year.

Trident Energy, which acquired 10 shallow-water fields from Petrobras, is also eyeing massive investments to revitalise operations at the Enchova cluster.

According to Trident Brazil legal director Fabricio Zaluski, the company may inject as much as $2 billion to improve productivity and the operational safety of its assets, which includes four fixed platforms.

'Giant opportunities'

“The Campos basin nowadays presents giant opportunities for independent companies outside the pre-salt province to revitalise mature fields,” Zaluski told the same panel.

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He said a “regulatory revolution” that started in 2016 allowed for better conditions for independents to exploit mature fields in Brazil, giving a major boost for investments in the Campos basin, but added there is still room to increase the diversity of players in the area.

PetroRio chief operating officer Francilmar Fernandes highlighted the company’s progress in reducing lifting costs at the Polvo and Frade fields.

He said PetroRio is conducting workover activities to revitalise the Tubarao Martelo field, which is to be linked to the Polvo development, and confirmed a Frade infill drilling campaign is earmarked for the second half of 2021.

'Divesting to better invest'

With investments that are expected to total $13 billion up to 2025 in the Campos basin, Petrobras stressed it is not abandoning operations in the region, but instead maximising its portfolio by focusing on deep-water and ultra-deepwater assets.

“We are divesting to better invest,” said Petrobras executive manager for deep-water operations in the Campos and Espirito Santo basins Carlos Travassos.

In a bid to increase production from 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year to 1 million boepd in 2025, Petrobras will deploy three new floating production, storage and offloading vessels and drill more than 100 wells in the Campos basin.

The planned floaters include the Anita Garibaldi and Anna Nery FPSOs, due to produce first oil from the Marlim field in 2023, and the Parque das Baleias FPSO that will enter operation in 2024.