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Shell's E&P journey in Brazil started back in the seventies when 23 risk services contracts were executed for the exploration in nine onshore and offshore basins. Between the mid-seventies and late nineties, more than 30 wells were drilled on 13 blocks. Almost US$ 400 milion spent on seismic and drilling. This paper presents an overview of field development from the early days to the present. Between the late seventies and early eighties the discovery of Merluza gas field, in the Santos basin, and other non-commercial discoveries were made. The Merluza development started in the late eighties and was handed over to Petrobras for operation in 1993. The scope considered an offshore platform, subsea infrastructure, wells, gas pipeline to shore and an onshore gas unit. The Bijupirá & Salema fields, located in the Campos basin, 250 km east of Rio de Janeiro, in water depths between 480 and 880 m, were discovered by Petrobras in 1990 and included in bid round zero. Shell joined the Venture as the operator through the acquisition of Enterprise Oil in 2002 and production started in 2003. It was the first IOC operated development in Brazil with eight producers and six water injection wells. A re-development project resulted in four additional wells with first oil in 2013. The BC-10 Parque das Conchas deepwater development, also from bid round zero and in Campos basin, is a combination of several distinct small to mid-size fields that allow for phasing. The fields are off the coast of Brazil in about 1800m water depth. This series of successfully phased projects started with the deployment of the Espirito Santo FPSO, 11 wells and subsea boosting equipment in Phase 1 which came on-stream in July 2009. Phase 2 followed on-stream in October 2013 with an additional 11 wells (including 4 water injectors), subsea boosting equipment, and brownfield topsides upgrades on the FPSO. The Phase 3 investment has already added another 7 wells (including 2 water injectors) and will come on-stream in early 2016, after the subsea and topsides scopes are completed.
The Parque das Conchas BC-10 deepwater development is a combination of several distinct small to mid-size fields that allow for phasing. The fields are off the coast of Brazil in 1800+/- meter water depth. This series of successfully phased projects started with the deployment of the Espirito Santo FPSO, 11 wells and subsea boosting equipment in Phase 1 which came on-stream in July 2009. Phase 2 followed on-stream in October 2013 with an additional 11 wells (including water injection), subsea boosting equipment, and brownfield topsides upgrades on the FPSO. The Phase 3 investment has already added 7 wells and will come on-stream in early 2016 after the subsea and topsides scopes are completed. The success of this phased development is attributed to rigorous standardization, rapidly applied learnings, and strategic deployment of new technologies. Maintaining the cost competitiveness and economic value of each new investment phase was more difficult, given the decreasing size of the fields developed. Leveraging contractual partnerships and using standardization of well design and subsea hardware led to improved quality, competitiveness and delivery schedule (corrected for market factors). Technologies deployed during the project included mudline boosting through Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESPs) (and later, in Phase 2, multi-vane pump inserts to increase gas handling capacity), transmission of high voltage electrical power through subsea umbilicals, real-time geosteering and permanent reservoir monitoring technology. A 6th generation Bully Class rig was successfully used in Phase 2, and after replication efficiencies, coupled with focused improvements to the drilling scheme, the rig and crew performed flawlessly for the Phase 3 wells, delivering the scope several months ahead of schedule. Another challenge was committing to pre-investment for the later phases. For example, water injection facilities were pre-installed with the Phase 1 project, for use on Phases 2 and 3. Taking this investment decision early had risk attached, but this has paid off. This paper highlights the advantages of a phased approach, as well as how the learnings can be used in successive phases to improve overall project value. The strategy of a phased approach to the development of BC10 enabled quality business decisions, and optimized the ullage utilization of the FPSO. Continuity of resources to continuously learn and rapidly apply learnings proved highly successful.
As first oil flowed on July 12 at the Shell-operated deepwater Parque das Conchas development offshore Brazil, it marked a major advance in the production of Brazil's abundant heavy-oil reserves and became the world's first full-field development based on subsea oil and gas separation and subsea pumping. Situated 75 miles southeast of Vitória, off Espirito Santo state, Parque das Conchas (formerly known as BC-10) lies in approximately 4,900 to 6,500 ft of water at the northern edge of the Campos Basin (Fig. 1). Parque das Conchas in its first phase will produce from three fields, with oil ranging in gravity from 17 to 42°API. The fields will produce through subsea trees and flowlines tied into the centrally located floating production, storage, and offloading vessel (FPSO) Espirito Santo(Fig. 2). Turret-moored in 5,840 ft of water, the double-sided FPSO is equipped to process peak daily project production of 100,000 BOE, with 1.4 million bbl of oil-storage capacity. Parque das Conchas is a joint venture of Shell (50%), Petrobras (35%), and ONGC (15%). The development grew out of a substantial exploration and appraisal program, in which Shell drilled 13 wells and made six discoveries. The project was declared commercial in 2005, and major contracts were awarded in November 2006. For Shell, Parque das Conchas is the first Brazilian project the company has taken all the way from exploration to production, as opposed to inheriting a project from another operator or initiating a project that it had to turn over to someone else to operate. Challenges to Project's Economics "There were a number of challenges we faced to make the project economic," said Kent Stingl, Parque das Conchas project manager for Shell. "We had heavy oil in relatively low-pressure reservoirs in an ultradeepwater environment. Hence, we had to determine how to pump from this depth and process on the production facility. But there was more to it than that. There are four dispersed reservoirs, small to medium in size, with widely divergent oil gravities and different gas/oil ratios (GORs). We needed to find an economic way of commingling and bringing production from the various reservoirs back to a central facility, with artificial lift (AL) required and subsea gas/oil separation for some reservoirs." A further challenge was that the reservoirs, though in deep water, are only approximately 3,300 ft beneath the mudline. "Starting from vertical at the seafloor, we had to kick the wells out at a tremendously high angle to drill the horizontal wellbores required to drain these reservoirs," Stingl said. "We operated from only a few drilling centers to minimize the need to move the rig. So these horizontals extended more than 3,000 ft, and all were completed with gravel packs."
Abstract The Shell operated Parque das Conchas fields of the Brazilian deepwater block BC-10 utilize ESPs as the sole artificial lift method. Unlike traditional in-well deployed ESP systems, the ten BC-10 ESPs are deployed inside relatively shallow – 100m - caissons distributed across three subsea gathering areas, or Artificial Lift Manifolds at water depths from 1650 to 1900m. The integrated caisson, ESP and inflow/outflow valving is deployed and retrieved as a single unit and hence derives the name of a Pump Module, or Modulo de Bomba in Portuguese, or MOBO for short. As ESPs have much shorter run lives compared to the approximate 25 year field life, the BC-10 subsea operations asset team is responsible for managing and executing the rig based ESP replacement intervention campaigns, or Mobo interventions. As of 2015, nine ESP replacements have been executed in four campaigns. This paper examines the diverse aspects associated with the ongoing efforts to maintain the artificial lift system of BC-10 before, during and after a rig intervention campaign. Topics covered include the ESP failure analysis, equipment sparing philosophy, equipment and tooling preparations, offshore execution, vendor relationships and overall project management. Finally, learnings obtained during the four years of near continuous preparation and execution of MOBO interventions are discussed along with some planned future improvements.
Abstract The Parque das Conchas development is located in the BC-10 block 75 miles southeast of Vitoria int the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil. Shell is the operator with a 50% equity share, with joint venture partners Petrobras (35%) and ONGC (15%). The current development consists of three hydrostatically pressurized medium to heavy oil reservoirs (Abalone, Ostra and Argonauta B West) in water depths ranging from 5430 ft to 6310 ft (1655 m to 1923 m). One of the key enabling technologies at the heart of the subsea system infrastructure is the mudline boosting system consisting of Modulo de Bombeio or Pumping Unit (MOBO) caisson ESPs installed inside Artificial Lift Manifolds (ALMs) . Oil from the individual subsea wells flows into the MOBO caisson ESPs and from there the ESPs pump the oil up to the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The ALMs are located approximately 5½ miles (8.85 km) from the FPSO (see Figs. 1 and 2). This paper will describe how the design for these special longlife ESPs was developed, how a stack-up test was performed on land in the US, and how the pumps were deployed in the field. In the second part, the first operations for pulling two of the ESPs are described. The whole assembly consisting of the MOBO, 32-in. caisson and ESP completion was lifted in open water to the rig with a total assembled weight of 169 tons (171.7 metric tons).