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Equinor set to sanction huge Brazilian offshore project

Equinor and its partners will sanction BM-C-33 development by early 2022 with potential final investment decision in early 2023

Norway’s Equinor will soon sanction development of the giant Pao de Acucar gas condensate field on Block BM-C-33 in Brazil’s Campos basin.

“We have matured towards preliminary project sanction now or [the] beginning [of] next year with potential final investment decision in early 2023,” said Trond Bokn, head of Equinor’s international projects.

However, he told the 2021 Norway China FPSO seminar held last week in Tianjin, China that Equinor and the field partners still need to conclude the details and scheduling for the project sanction and final investment decision.

Bokn indicated that first gas from Pao de Acucar could be achieved in 2027.

DSIC deal sighted
His comments coincide with industry observers suggesting that Japanese floater specialist Modec International will finalise an engineering, procurement and construction deal with China’s Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) to build the hull of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel for the BM-C-33 project.

One source familiar with the BM-C-33 FPSO construction schedule told Upstream that the deal between Modec and DSIC for the hull could be signed as early as February 2022.

The BM-C-33 development scheme envisages a 125,800 barrels per day FPSO, with a gas export pipeline handling up to 16 million cubic metres per day and gas shipments expected to average 14 MMcmd.

DSIC’s workscope includes the floater’s hull and living quarters — the same workscope it has for the Bacalhau FPSO that DSIC is building for Modec and which is destined for another Equinor development offshore Brazil.

Equinor said a newbuild hull has been selected over a conversion to accommodate the expected 30-year lifetime of the field.

The BM-C-33 floater is expected to be based on the standardised M350 hull design, which was jointly developed by Modec and DSIC.

Sources said DSIC has been involved in the initial design for the BM-C-33 floater for almost two years.

The BM-C-33 development is essentially a gas-driven project.

Pao de Acucar, the largest of three hydrocarbons discoveries on Block BM-C-33, had its development concept approved in March by Equinor and project partners Petrobras and Repsol Sinopec.

Asian floater contractors told Upstream some time ago that Equinor had already selected Modec as the main EPC contractor.

BM-C-33, located about 200 kilometres offshore in water depths of 2900 metres, was formerly operated by Repsol, with breakthrough discoveries announced on the Pao de Acucar, Seat and Gavea prospects in 2010.

Hydrocarbon resources at the three fields have been estimated at 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Modec and DSIC declined to comment on BM-C-33 when earlier approached by Upstream.

Bokn said construction of the Bacalhau FPSO’s hull and living quarters is ongoing at DSIC, while Bomesc Offshore Engineering is fabricating the topsides.

Sources said integration work will take place in Singapore.

“We have experienced very good cooperation with both yards and we are also seeing good quality,” said Bokn.

Equinor and its partners have already taken the final investment decision to develop the $8 billion first phase of the Bacalhau field in Brazil’s pre-salt Santos area.

The Bacalhau FPSO will have processing capacity for 220,000 bpd of oil and 15 MMcmd of natural gas, and a crude storage capacity of up to 2 million barrels.

It is the biggest offshore development of its kind to be performed by an international oil company in Brazil, where state-controlled Petrobras is the dominant operator.

Bacalhau’s hull and living quarters are scheduled for delivery by DSIC next year and the giant unit is expected on stream in 2024.

Source: Upstream| This text was excerpted from the media outlet cited on December 20, 2021 and is provided to Noia members for information purposes only. Any opinion expressed therein is neither attributable to nor endorsed by Noia.