The countdown began yesterday. The FPSO Pioneiro de Libra left Singapore for Brazil, where it will be the first ship to produce oil in the Libra Block, located in Santos Basin and considered one of the world's largest pre-salt reserves.
The trip has special meaning for the members of Odebrecht Oil & Gas, which has partnered with the Norwegian company Teekay Offshore as part of the joint venture (50/50) called OOGTK, which owns the FPSO. For a 12-month period, the FPSO will be chartered and operated by the joint venture during long duration tests for the Libra Consortium, formed by Petrobras (Operator, with 40%), Total (20%), Shell (20%), CNPC (10%) and CNOOC (10%). The unit should start producing oil by the end of the first half of the year.
“The conclusion of this phase proves the competency and delivery capacity of our partnership with Teekay Offshore," revealed Jorge Mitidieri, Senior Officer of Integrated Services at Odebrecht Oil & Gas. "Four years after the successful operation of the FPSO Cidade de Itajaí, this partnership has now yielded its second result," he said.
But do you know what a FPSO is? It is the acronym for Floating Production Storage and Offloading Unit, a type of ship that produces and stores gas and oil for later transport to oil tankers. The FPSOs are operated in production sites located far from the coast.
With the capacity to produce 50,000 barrels of oil and compress 4 million cubic meters of gas per day, the operation of the FPSO Pioneiro de Libra will serve as a milestone for oil exploration worldwide. This is because the Libra Block extends for over 1,500 km² and has estimated reserves of 8-12 billion barrels, according to the National Petroleum Agency (ANP). The unit will be able to operate at water depths of up to 2,400 meters.
Since its baptism in September, the vessel has undergone commissioning and ocean tests. Other tests will be conducted during its trip to Brazil. After it arrives, the FPSO will need to be approved by entities, inspection agencies and Petrobras.
Construction of the unit began in 2014 at the Jurong shipyard in Singapore and received an investment of approximately US$ 1 billion. The numbers are also outstanding in the area of Workplace Safety: for over two years, approximately 4,000 people were involved with the project, which required more than 19 million man-hours worked without recording any injuries with lost time.
On March 22, the Libra Consortium formally recognized the milestone and delivered a commemorative plaque to representatives of the joint venture and Jurong Shipyard. "This recognition, delivered days before the Singapore unit leaves for Brazil, fills us with pride and reflects the entire team's commitment to the safety of people and our assets," emphasized Rodrigo Lemos, Offshore Production Contract Director.