Equinor, partners invest $9 billion in natural gas development offshore Brazil

World Oil Staff May 08, 2023

(WO) – Equinor, Repsol, Sinopec Brazil and Petrobras have taken the investment decision to develop the BM-C-33 project offshore Brazil. The investment is approximately $9 billion.

photo of Equinor's natural gas development offshore Brazil
Photo: Aline Massuca/Equinor

Located in the Campos basin, BM-C-33 comprises three different pre-salt discoveries – Pão de Açúcar, Gávea and Seat – containing natural gas and oil/condensate recoverable reserves above one Bboe.

The concept selected for BM-C-33 is based on an FPSO (floating production storage and offloading unit), capable of processing natural gas and oil/condensate and specifying these for sale without a need for further onshore processing.

The FPSO’s production capacity is of 16 MMcm gas per day with average exports expected of 14 MMcm of gas per day. Start-up is planned in 2028.

“Together, with partners and suppliers, we have developed a significant project which will provide Brazil with energy to meet its growing energy demands and create value for owners and society, contributing to local industrial development,” says Geir Tungesvik, Executive Vice President for Projects, Drilling & Procurement.

“Gas exported from the project could represent 15% of the total Brazilian gas demand at start-up. Its development will also contribute to the energy security and economic development, enabling a lot of new job opportunities locally,” says Veronica Coelho, Equinor’s Country Manager in Brazil.

Technology and low carbon initiatives driving the project

BM-C-33 will be Equinor’s second FPSO in Brazil using combined cycle gas turbines, significantly reducing carbon emissions during operations.

The technology will also be applied in Bacalhau, in the Santos basin, and it combines a gas turbine with a steam turbine to take advantage of the excess heat that would otherwise be lost. By implementing this technology, the average CO2 intensity of BM-C-33 over its lifetime will be lower than 6 kilos per boe.

BM-C-33 will be the first project in Brazil to treat the natural gas offshore and be connected to the national grid without further onshore processing. The sales gas is planned to be exported through a 200 kilometres offshore gas pipeline from the FPSO to Cabiúnas, in the city of Macaé, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Liquids are planned to be offloaded by shuttle tankers.

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