Petrobras began oil production in the ultra-deepwaters of the Chinook oilfield on 6 September 2012, from the floating production, storage and offloading platform (FPSO) BW Pioneer, moored some 250 km off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).
It is the first FPSO to produce oil and gas in the GOM, with processing capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil, 500,000 cu cm gas per day and storage facilities for 500,000 barrels of oil. It is moored at a record water depth of 2,500 meters.
The Chinook #4 production well was drilled and completed in Lower Tertiary reservoirs, an offshore exploration frontier located at a depth of around 8,000 meters. The well is connected to the FPSO by a system incorporating subsea equipment and lines, in addition to free-standing risers (vertical production lines). Oil will be transported to shore on shuttle tankers and gas through pipelines.
Petrobras is the first company to develop an oilfield in the GOM using these technologies, which were tested in Brazil.
In the Chinook field, Petrobras has a 66.67% interest, with the remaining 33.33% held by Total Exploration Production USA Inc. Production in the Cascade field began in February 2012, and the concession is 100% Petrobras.