PF&C speaker - Cesar Palagi - "The Development of Cascade and Chinook Fields in Ultra Deep Waters in the Gulf of Mexico"

The Cascade and Chinook fields are located in the Walker Ridge Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing area of the central Gulf of Mexico. There are no production analogs for these two fields and a phased development is justified because of reservoir uncertainties. The purpose of Phase 1 is to analyze reservoir performance to enable optimization of future project development phases or conversely, to minimize investment in the event of failure.
Cascade was discovered in 2002 and Chinook in 2003. The discoveries, among others, defined a new hydrocarbon trend in the Gulf of Mexico ultra-deep water. The hydrocarbon bearing sandstones are equivalent to the Wilcox Group (Eocene-Paleocene), a prolific producing sediment onshore Gulf of Mexico. Cascade is located about 160 miles south of the Louisiana coast in 8,200 ft water depth and Chinook is about 15 miles south of Cascade in 8,700 ft water depth. Wells will be drilled to a total depth of approximately 27,000 ft.

The Cascade field is owned by Petrobras America Inc. (50%) and Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. (50%), while the Chinook field is owned by Petrobras America Inc. 66.67% and TOTAL E&P USA, INC. (33.33%). Petrobras operates both fields.

Phase 1 will consist of two subsea wells in Cascade and one subsea well in Chinook tied back to a disconnectable turret moored FPSO, with first production estimated for mid 2010. Oil (18o to 27o API) will be transported from the field in shuttle vessels to terminals of opportunity along the Gulf coast from Texas to Mississippi and gas will be exported through a gas export pipeline. The minimum amount of infrastructure will be installed in Phase 1; however, the development concept is very flexible and enables multiple development scenarios in future phases and up to 80,000 bopd of production.


Cesar Palagi is the Walker Ridge Production Asset Manager with Petrobras America Inc., based in Houston. Mr. Palagi is responsible for the design and implementation of development projects of ultra-deep waters, lower tertiary fields in the Gulf of Mexico. He has provided technical and managerial E&P services to Petrobras for 28 years.

Mr. Palagi graduated in Civil Engineering, at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, and holds a M.Sc. degree from Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil, and a Ph.D from Stanford University, United States, both in petroleum reservoir engineering.