When he turned the faucets to start the oil flowing on Platform P-50, last Friday, April 21, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva thrust Brazil among an elite group of countries that are self-sufficient in petroleum production.
The P-50, which is the largest production unit operating in Brazil, will increase daily domestic petroleum production by 180,000 barrels – a barrel corresponds to 159.2 liters.
The rig, which is located in the Albacora Leste (East Albacore) field, in the Campos Basin, off the north coast of Rio de Janeiro State, will account for 11% of the 1.92 million barrels produced in Brazil each day.
The P-50 is an FPSO (floating production, storage, and offshore loading) vessel that processes petroleum and natural gas. Repsol, a Spanish company, has a 10% stake in the venture.
Petrobras describes the platform as 337 meters long and 55 meters high (equivalent to an 18-story building). Its draft extends down 21 meters.
The platform is one of a series of projects that the Brazilian oil giant intends to put in place by the end of 2010 to ensure the continuation of the country’s self-sufficiency in this area.
The first steps in the direction of self-sufficiency were taken over the last twelve months with the start-up of operations on platforms P-43 and P-48, in the Barracuda-Caratinga complex, also in the Campos Basin.
Together with the other projects, Petrobras is not only guaranteeing this self-sufficiency but establishing conditions for the country to produce approximately 2.3 million barrels daily in 2010, when consumption is expected to run around 2 million barrels.