Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras said that on June 24, oil production in the fields operated by Petrobras in the so-called pre-salt province in the Santos and Campos basins broke through the 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) mark, reaching 520,000 bpd, a new daily production record.
Of this volume, 78% (406,000 bpd) corresponded to Petrobras’ share and the remainder was contributed by its partner companies in the different production areas in the pre-salt layer.
This output of 520,000 bpd was attained just eight years after the first oil discovery in the pre-salt layer, in 2006. To arrive at this milestone, Petrobras used just 25 production wells. The magnitude of this achievement can be better perceived by making a comparison with the company’s own production history:
Petrobras was established in 1953 and it took 31 years to reach output of 500,000 barrels per day, which occurred in late 1984, using 4,108 production wells.
In the post-salt layer of Campos Basin, where the first discovery was made in 1974, it took 21 years to produce 500,000 barrels of oil per day. This production level, achieved in 1995, required 411 production wells.
Petrobras says that the excellent performance of Brazilian pre-salt also stands out when one compares it with other major oil-producing parts of the world. In the US waters of the Gulf of Mexico, for example, it took 20 years from the first discovery to produce 500,000 bpd. In the North Sea, this level was reached in 10 years.