Brazil’s onshore production is expected to double by the end of next decade, bolstered by the entrance of new players and a series of investments aimed at revitalising operations at mature fields and new frontier acreage.

Onshore production in Brazil totalled 241,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day in October from more than 6100 wells in 208 fields, representing only 6.5% of total hydrocarbons output in the country, according to the latest data from the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) market regulator.

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“Our goal is to double onshore production to more than 500,000 boepd by 2030,” Carlos Onofre, project manager of Brazil’s Mines & Energy Ministry’s oil and gas exploration and production department, told a panel at the Rio Oil & Gas 2020 digital conference on Wednesday.

He made mention of the Reate programme, an initiative first launched in 2017 designed to create synergies among producers, suppliers and financial agents to make the Brazilian onshore industry stronger and more competitive.

Licensing round

In order to achieve such target, Onofre mentioned Petrobras’ divestment programme, which is allowing new companies to enter the Brazilian onshore and forthcoming bid rounds, such as the second round of the permanent offer exercise due to take place on 4 December.

The bid round is expected to attract offers from small and mid-sized players looking for as many as 466 onshore exploration blocks in the Amazonas, Espirito Santo, Parana, Potiguar, Reconcavo, Sergipe-Alagoas and Tucano basins.

“We have good expectation for the upcoming round, as the onshore rebirth is something we are all looking for,” Livia Valverde, president of the Brazilian Association for Independent Oil & Gas Producers, told the panel.

Local player sets sights on drilling

One of the most active companies in the Brazilian onshore is local independent Imetame Energia, which is producing about 1370 boepd from eight fields.

Imetame Energia technical director Miguel Nunez Sanchez said the company plans to invest $157 million between 2021 and 2025, including $87 million in the drilling of 35 wells and to carry out workover at another 59 wells.

In October, the company took over operation of a trio of onshore fields in the Lagoa Parda cluster in the Espirito Santo basin, following the completion of a $10.8 million deal with Petrobras.

According to Sanchez, Imetame Energia will conduct a 38-well workover programme at Lagoa Parda and drill one exploration well targeting deeper horizons in an attempt to increase production from the cluster.

“We will also look for a way to better monetise natural gas production from the fields,” he added.

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Sanchez also said Imetame Energia is looking to implement a reservoir-to-wire project at its Cardeal do Nordeste and Cardeal Amarelo fields in the Reconcavo basin.

The initiative is an effort to maximise gas production from the fields in the same vein as local player Eneva successfully does at its Gaviao onshore cluster in the Parnaiba basin.