Total Announces First Oil from Iara in Brazil


Published Nov 17, 2019 5:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

Total and its partners have announced first oil from the Iara license in the deepwater Santos Basin pre-salt offshore from Brazil. 

This marks the start-up of the P-68, the first of the two floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSOs) already launched and to be installed on the license. The second, the P-70, is expected to come on stream in 2020. Each unit has a capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil and six million cubic meters of natural gas daily. 

P-68’s hull was built at the Rio Grande shipyard in southern Brazil. Integration of the modules and the final unit commissioning were carried out at the Jurong Aracruz shipyard in southeastern Brazil.

The Iara license comprises the Sururu, Berbigão and Oeste de Atapu fields. Total acquired a working interest of 22.5 percent in January 2018 alongside operator Petrobras (42.5 percent), Shell Brasil Petróleo Ltda. (25 percent) and Petrogal Brasil S.A. (10 percent).

In 2018, Total's production in Brazil averaged 19,000 barrels of oil per day. By 2025, it is expected to exceed 100,000 barrels of oil per day. On June 2019, Total and its partners made the investment decision for the second phase of the Mero project. The Mero 2 FPSO will have a liquids treatment capacity of 180,000 barrels per day and is expected to start up by 2022. The Mero 1 project, currently under development, is progressing as per plan, with start-up scheduled in 2021. 

In 2017, Total and Petrobras formed a Strategic Alliance encompassing exploration and production and gas, renewables and power activities. Through the Alliance, the two groups are implementing R&D projects on topics such as artificial intelligence leading to efficiency gains. 

Shell’s oil and gas production in Brazil in the fourth quarter is expected to be around 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Two blocks awarded to Shell in the 16th concession deep-water bid round are the latest additions to a portfolio of 2.6 million net acres with 21 exploration blocks, four development fields and 11 production fields in Brazil.

Shell Brasil is also carrying out exploration activities in the Gato do Mato and Alto do Cabo Frio Oeste blocks in the Santos Basin to secure future development. In June, the company started a drilling campaign in Gato do Mato and delivered the fastest-drilled well in Brazil. Seismic work at Gato do Mato is ongoing. In 2020, new exploration drilling activity is expected at the Saturno block in the Santos Basin.