Exclusives

Global exploration activity might be down in the dumps, but there’s a new exploration hot spot lighting up South America.

ExxonMobil, Hess, Liza, oil, discovery, offshore, Guyana

Drilled to 5,475 m in 1,692 m of water, the Liza-2 well encountered more than 58 m of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs in Upper Cretaceous formations.

Rafael Cruz, Petrobras, Lula, field, oil

Production from the field is pushing Petrobas closer to its 1-MMbbl/d presalt goal

Brazil, opportunity, Mayer Brown, Operation Car Wash, assets, oil, production, Petrobras, offshore, divest

The corruption scandal hits debt-laden Petrobras hard during one of the worst downturns in the oil and gas sector’s history. But it’s not all bad news for potential investors.

A novel scale inhibitor formulation optimizes artificial lift in mature, calcium-rich wells in an Argentine field.

Deepwater International

Technip has clinched a major contract worth at least $559.2 million to supply a network of flexible pipes for the deepwater Lula Alto field offshore Brazil.

The issues related to Petrobras and the ongoing corruption probe in Brazil could lead to at least four major deepwater FPSO projects hitting at least a one-year delay, according to Portugal’s Galp Energia.

QGI Oil & Gas consortium has abandoned more than $1 billion worth of modules integration work on two identical FPSO vessels destined for one of Petrobras’ developments.

Petrobras has churned out announcement of yet another ultra-deepwater discovery but this time in the post-salt. 

Petrobras has highlighted the money it is saving through the utilisation of subsea equipment support vessels (SESVs) instead of drillships and rigs to install its subsea trees in the pre-salt offshore Brazil.

Exploration

Piracuca was declared commercial in 2009, but further studies showed the area was not commercially viable, Petrobras said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Vaca Muerta, one of the world's largest shale formations, has attracted investment from Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. , but remains largely unexplored, Reuters reported.

Petrobras said in October it was in talks with Karoon to sell the oilfields. An injunction on Nov. 19 suspended the negotiations, prompting Petrobras to appeal two days later. 

The agreement to acquire the stake was announced in October, and included an option for Aker Solutions to purchase the remaining 30% of the company three years from now.

A test conducted with an electric submersible pump in the Guadalupe Formation across multiple sand units resulted in a production rate of about 1,800 barrels of oil per day (bbl/d) of 16 degrees API, with a 17% water cut through a choke of 38/64 mm and wellhead pressure of 80 pounds per square inch, the company said.

Production

MODEC said this FPSO is the 11th it has delivered to Brazil's oil and natural gas sector, and the fifth it has delivered to the presalt region. 

Venezuela currently produces just over 2.4 MMbbl/d of crude and condensates, according to ministry data, Reuters reported.

The FPSO vessel, which is connected to the field by production well  7-LPA-1D, has the capacity to process 100,000 barrels of oil per day and compress 5 million cubic meters of gas, Petrobras said.

Argentina's YPF said on Oct. 28 it signed a deal with Norway's Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) to study potential drilling sites offshore Argentina's Atlantic coast. The seismic tests will be undertaken in waters 500 meters (m) to 3,500 m deep.

Petrobras, Libra's operator, owns 40% of the area. Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE: RDS.A) and France's Total SA each own 20%. China's CNOOC and China National Petroleum Corp. each own 10%, Reuters said.

Technology

Workers at Peru's Camisea natural gas fields have called off a strike scheduled for Dec. 29 after reaching a deal on labor benefits with Argentina's Pluspetrol, the union SUTRAPPEC said Dec. 28.

Canacol Energy Ltd. provided an update Dec. 19 for the Clarinete 3, Nelson 5, and Nelson 8 development gas development wells in Colombia, and for the first-quarter 2017 exploration drilling program.

Argentina produces an estimated 716,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, Reuters reported.

Cano Limon, in Arauca province along the border with Venezuela, produces about 50,000 barrels per day (Mbbl/d). This year, attacks against Cano Limon have led to the loss of 22 Mbbl of crude, Reuters reported. 

Petrobras used half the proceeds from the sale of a Brazilian offshore oil field to repay a loan taken from state development bank BNDES, the latest step toward reducing the largest debt burden of any global oil firm, Reuters reported..