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Petrobras completes first production well in ultra-deep Libra field

On November 9, the Libra Consortium completed the first production well in the Santos Basin’s pre-salt Libra oilfield. The well, drilled by the West Carina rig, is now fully fitted out and ready to produce oil and natural gas. The Libra field is one of the largest pre-salt oil discoveries to date in Brazil.

The 3-RJS-739A well, known as NW3, is located in the northwest sector of the Libra block, around 187 km (116 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and approximately 5.3 km south of discovery well 2-ANP-2A-RJS, in a water depth of 1,951 meters (1.21 miles).

The NW3 has been fitted with an intelligent dual-zone system to facilitate real-time control and production monitoring. It will start production in 2017, connected to Pioneiro de Libra FPSO, during the first Libra extended well test.

The Libra Consortium is formed by Petrobras (operator, 40% interest), Shell (20%), Total (20%), CNPC (10%), and CNOOC (10%). The production sharing contract will be managed by state-owned Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A. (PPSA).

Petrobras plans to start up a new definitive production system every year in the Libra block, starting in its northwest part. The first of four such systems will come on stream for production in 2020, and it is expected to have a daily production capacity of 180,000 barrels of oil and a total of 17 wells. The other systems will start producing in subsequent years.

The challenges of Libra production development require the use of technologies already applied in other projects in the Brazilian pre-salt, many of them developed by Petrobras. With state of the art technology solutions it is possible to drill safely across the salt layer, as well as reducing the costs and time of drilling activities and well completion.

Among the leading edge technologies applied in the pre-salt is the use of high-resolution seismic data that enables the geoscientists to “see” through the salt layer. The seismic is compared to an ultrasound, through which technicians can evaluate more precisely the characteristics of the reservoir in which they plan to produce, study the production potential and define the best strategy for the development.


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