Frade, being a deep water heavy oil development project, has historically been both technically and economically challenged. The inherent subsurface and surface complexities alone might have shelved the development of this asset – particularly in the early evaluation period. Moreover, the fiscal and political landscape in
The structure is a low relief anticline with two main fault blocks, consists of three stacked reservoirs, and spans an area of 20 square kilometers. The field will require water injection from the beginning of production in order to maintain reservoir pressure and maximize life of field oil recovery.
The current development scenario consists of a total of 19 wells; 12 horizontal production and 7 vertical injection wells. The production wells will utilize an open-hole gravel pack completion with gas lift, and will be tied back to a Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The FPSO will provide the capacity to process 100,000 barrels of oil per day, compress 106 million standard cubic feet of natural gas, and store 1.5 million barrels of oil. The subsea architecture consists of a series of production flowlines, gas lift and water injection pipelines, and umbilicals. The production wells will be paired together to provide pigging loops, while the water injection wells will be connected through a pipeline and umbilical loop. The gas lift pipelines and production umbilicals will be manifolded to supply up to 4 production wells. Surplus gas will be routed to shore via existing Petrobras pipelines in the area, while the processed oil will be sold on the world market, transported with conventional trading tankers.
All major drilling and facilities contracts were awarded in 2006. Detailed engineering is essentially complete with manufacturing and construction activities currently underway. Offshore facilities installation and well drilling is anticipated to take place in 2008, resulting in first production from the Frade field during the first quarter of 2009.