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Chevron – Frade FPSO – South America

The Frade field is located 370km off of the coast of Rio de Janeiro in the Northern Campos Basin, Brazil. The heavy oil and gas field lies at a water depth of 1,128m and is estimated to contain 200m to 300m barrels of recoverable oil.

The field is operated by Chevron, which has a 51.74% interest. Other partners include Petrobras, with 30%, along with Frade Japá o Petròleo, with 18.26%. The partners invested approximately $3bn in developing the field.

FPSO Commissioning was completed and first production was in June 2009. In September 2010, production reached 65,000bpd. Peak output of 79,000 barrels of crude oil and natural gas liquids a day was achieved in 2011. The field will be operational until 2025.

On 7 November 2011, an appraisal well encountered an unforeseen pressure spike during drilling operations. The wellhead was tightly sealed and the leak was blocked in four days. About 18 vessels were deployed to support the sheen remediation and well abandonment activities. The current and future drilling operations at Frade field have been temporarily suspended by Chevron.

In December 2011, Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) issued orders to shut one of 11 production wells and four produced water injection wells at the Frade FPSO facility.

The concerned production well yields less than 10% of the total production of the Frade field.


The VLCC Lu San was converted into the Frade FPSO to operate at the Frade field.

The FPSO is moored by an internal turret and located at a water depth of 1,080m.

It has a storage capacity of 1,550,000bbls and weighs 273,576DWT.

The FPSO can accommodate 33 risers and has an oil production capacity of 100,000bopd. Gas compression capacity of the vessel is 106MMcf/d and water injection capacity is 150,000bwpd.

The engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract for the FPSO was awarded to SBM Offshore in 2006.

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