Pre-Sal Drilling Development

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2005 was the year of a paradigm shift in the Brazilian E&P scenario. That year, the Parati prospect, despite being deemed non-commercial, marked the beginning of the pre-salt exploration, which would become one of the main focuses for the offshore industry.

Since then, over 400 wells were drilled for pre-salt targets, adding roughly 1,600 km of sediment. That is approximately 1/4 of Earth’s radius and about 140 times the Mariana Trench’s maximum depth.

Most pre-salt drilling campaigns have also proven successful: out of the 163 exploratory wells (wildcats & appraisal), 90% presented HC shows.

The pre-salt drilling process also became faster throughout the years. Over the last 3 years, most of them averaged around 70-90 days, with some development wells taking little less than a month.

Today, around 70% of Brazil’s total production comes from pre-salt deepwater projects, with the presence of 15 different companies and asset operators bp, Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, PETRONAS, Repsol Sinopec Brasil, Shell, and Total.

Future bid rounds, new seismic acquisitions, and planned wells tell us we still have some more decades of pre-salt ahead of us.

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