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Lula salt content jumps on maintenance a pre-salt Petrobras Argus field, water cut



By Argus

Petroleumworld 03 14 2019

Higher water cuts and the replacement of water treatment filters at oil production platforms have contributed to increased salinity in recent cargoes of Lula pre-salt crude, an executive from a partner in the giant field tells Argus .

Salinity levels in 31°API Lula crude jumped to 150-200ppm from 30-40ppm, according to some refiners in China. The increase is expected to be temporary, but has already prompted some refiners in Shandong province to resort to Russian ESPO Blend crude instead.

China and India are the top destinations for medium sweet Lula grade.

Brazil's state-controlled Petrobras did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Rising water cuts in Lula since mid-2018 reached a record 3pc in January, according to the most recent data from Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator ANP.

The increase coincides with the installation of new water treatment filters at floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units at the giant Lula field, such as Modec-operated 100,000 b/d FPSO Cidade de Angra dos Reis and 150,000 b/d FPSO Cidade de Mangaratiba .

Maintenance aboard the platforms has also weighed on oil production, which dropped around 1pc between December 2018 and January 2019 to 889,000 b/d.

Ongoing maintenance at the Santos basin field was partially offset by the installation in early February of the 150,000 b/d P-67 platform, which is expected to push production above 1mn b/d later this year, Petrobras said.

Petrobras holds a 65pc operating stake in the BM-S-11 block where Lula is located. Shell holds a 25pc interest and Portugal's Galp the remaining 10pc.


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