Petrobras has announced that well 9-SPS-77 in the pre-salt Sapinhoá Field in the Santos Basin came on-stream on 18 February.
The well, producing 33,000 barrels per day, is connected to FPSO Cidade de São Paulo by a pioneering system in which the output pipeline riser is supported by a submerged buoy anchored to the seabed at a depth of 240m. The well is at a water depth of 2,118m.
In this position, the riser support buoy (RSB) is immune to platform movements. This innovation means that rigid steel pipes (steel catenary risers - SCR) can be used in some parts of this ultra-deep water project.
Subsea 7 built and installed the system. The buoy is capable of stabilising pipes from up to three production wells and two injection wells. The system was first deployed in July 2013, and this pioneering project posed a lot of challenges associated with winter weather conditions.
The buoy was finally set up on December 25, 2013 and rigid steel pipes installed by January 22, interconnecting the first two wells. The connection of well SPS-77 to the FPSO was completed on February 17, after installing the flexible pipelines which were deployed for production on February 18. The next production well is expected to be interconnected to FPSO Cidade de São Paulo by the end of the first quarter.
With the installation of a further three buoys and interconnection of the other wells, production through FPSOs Cidade de São Paulo and Cidade de Paraty will be gradually ramped up and is expected to reach peak production this year.
Sapinhoá Field is operated by Petrobras (45%) in partnership with BG E&P Brasil Ltda (30%) and Repsol Sinopec Brasil S.A. (25%). Lula Field is operated by Petrobras (65%) in partnership with BG E&P Brasil Ltda (25%) and Petrogal Brasil S.A. (10%).