Output from Main Pre-Salt Field to Peak in 2019

(Efe, 6.Sep.2018) — Output from Brazil’s most prolific pre-salt field will climb to a peak of 1 million barrels of oil per day in 2019, according to the executive manager for deep-water exploration and production at state oil company Petrobras.

The Lula field, located in the Santos Basin, will achieve that level after two Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) units are put into operation this year, Joelson Falcao Mendes said.

“The P69 will start production in October and the P67, which is currently in Guanabara Bay (in southeast Brazil), in December or January,” he added.

Seven FPSO units are currently in operation at the Lula field, each with the daily capacity to process 150,000 barrels of oil and compress 6 million cubic meters (211.5 million cubic feet) of natural gas.

Brazil achieved output of 1.5 million barrels of pre-salt oil per day in 2018, a milestone that comes 10 years after the start of hydrocarbon production in that ultra-deep frontier.

At present, average production at the Lula field amounts to around 850,000 barrels of oil per day.

Petrobras says output at the pre-salt fields is expected to grow steadily through 2022 with the entry into operation of an additional 13 FPSO units and investment outlays totaling $35 billion.

Pre-salt fields are located in ultra-deep water some 300 kilometers off the coast and underneath a layer of salt up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick.

The Lula field is located in the BM-S-11 block, in which Petrobras has a 65 percent stake and the BG Group and Portugal’s Galp Energia have 25 percent and 10 percent stakes, respectively.

***

Shell Oil Traders Trade One Caribbean Paradise For Another

(Reuters, Julia Payne, 17.Aug.2018) – Royal Dutch Shell’s oil traders in the Caribbean island of Barbados are getting ready for a tough gig – they’re being moved to the Bahamas next month.

The relocation of the oil and gas company’s trading hub for Latin America will make travel to customers in the key region easier for its employees, a company spokeswoman said.

Shell’s oil output in South America jumped sharply in 2016 after it acquired BG Group, which had a large portfolio of assets in Brazil. The country now accounts for about 10 percent of the group’s oil and gas production.

In the first half of 2018, oil production in the region was 335,000 bpd, according to company data. In 2015, South American output was only 38,000 bpd.

“Shell Western Supply and Trading can confirm it is relocating from Barbados to the Bahamas, effective September 2018,” the spokeswoman said.

“The requirement to move arose after the expansion of our customer footprint following the BG integration. As we look to grow our business, the location of the Bahamas will enable us to meet with our customers more frequently.”

In the past the office was primarily focused on west African crude trading, particularly oil out of Nigeria where it has a major presence, a source familiar with the matter said.

The office of about 45 people has many expatriates who handle the whole chain around trading, including the financial side, legal, shipping and operations, the source said.

Brazil remains a key investment focus for Shell, which was awarded more offshore deep-water exploration licenses this year. The country has some of the world’s most enticing offshore geology, with billions of barrels of oil contained beneath a thick layer of salt under the ocean floor.

The allure of the Caribbean’s palm trees and calm, pristine beaches make job openings at Shell’s office among the most coveted, traders said.

(Reporting by Julia Payne Additional reporting by Ron Bousso Editing by David Holmes)

***