|Launch ceremony for the first Promef Suezmax tanker. Source: Petrobras. Click to enlarge.
Brazil’s Petrobras set a new monthly oil production record in April. The month’s average topped-out at 2,032,620 barrels per day, exceeding the previous monthly record, of 2,003,940 barrels per day, set in September 2009, by 29,000 barrels. This mark was 2.9% higher than a year ago and 1.9% more than March 2010.
Separately, Brazil president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva launched to sea the first oil tanker under the Transpetro Fleet Modernization and Expansion Program (Promef) at the Atlântico Sul Shipyard (EAS), in the port of Suape, state of Pernambuco. The Suezmax-type vessel is the first major vessel built in Brazil to be delivered to the Petrobras System in 13 years.
Oil production. In addition to the monthly record, Petrobras also set, on 23 and 24 April, two consecutive daily oil and LNG production records, reaching 2,081,570 and 2,082,543 barrels, respectively.
These results were the outcome, among other factors, of the good operational performance of the platforms located off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, with the spotlight on the interconnection of new wells to FPSO Cidade de Vitória, in the Golfinho Field (state of Espírito Santo); on new wells going into production in the Marlim Leste field, in the Campos Basin (state of Rio de Janeiro); and on the Extended Well Test (EWT) being started at Tiro, in the Santos Basin, on 19 March.
Onshore production also influenced these results, particularly with two new wells going into production in the fields of Rio Urucu (RUC) and Leste do Urucu (LUC), in Amazonas.
Although over 85% of the oil produced by the company in Brazil comes from offshore fields, Petrobras has achieved good results in its onshore areas. The average production of these fields has hovered around 215,000 barrels of oil per day, a volume that has been maintained over recent years due to new technologies the company has developed to enhance the useful life of mature fields.
With FPSOs Cidade de Santos coming into operation in upcoming months in Uruguá/Tambaú, and Capixaba, at Cachalote/Baleia Franca, respectively, the company expects to set new production records.
Transpetro Promef. President Lula’s determination that the construction of vessels and oil production platforms be resumed in Brazil was the foundation of the Promef, a program created in 2004 to revitalize the shipbuilding industry on globally competitive bases, based on the placement of orders for 49 vessels.
All of us have to take the construction of this ship seriously. It is the self-affirmation of a people which had long been forgotten.
The tanker is 274 meters long, has capacity for a million barrels of oil (half the daily domestic production), and will used mainly for long distance transport (international travel).
The construction of ten Suezmax vessels by the Atlântico Sul Shipyard (EAS)—created to compete for Transpetro orders—was the first work under the Government’s Growth Acceleration Program (GAP) to have the contract signed for it, back in January 2007. The second Promef launch is planned for June, at the Mauá Shipyard (state of Rio de Janeiro).
EAS is the largest and most modern shipyard in Brazil. It will assemble 22 Promef vessels, and, thus, holds the program’s largest portfolio. There will be 10 Suezmax-type vessels (160,000 deadweight tons (DWT), capable of delivering a million barrels of oil each); five Aframax (110,000 DWT); four Suezmax DP shuttle vessels (with dynamic positioning); and three Aframax DP shuttle vessels.
Later in the year, two Suezmax vessels will be launched at the EAS, and two product ships will set sail at the Mauá Shipyard—the first of which next June, in Niterói. This will complete the four Promef launches planned for 2010.