Brazilian state-controlled firm Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Malaysian contractor MISC Berhad for the charter of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to be deployed at the Mero field.

The Mero field is an ultra-deepwater oilfield situated approximately 180km offshore Rio de Janeiro in the Libra block, Brazil.

It is located in the pre-salt area of the Santos Basin.

Petrobras noted that the term of the charter is 22.5 years from the date of Petrobras’ final acceptance of the Mero 3 FPSO unit.

The FPSO is expected to commence operation in the first half of 2024.

According to Petrobras, the project calls for the drilling of 15 development wells, including eight oil producers and seven water and gas injectors, which will be connected to the FPSO via a rigid riser-based subsea structure.

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In a press statement, Petrobras stated: “The Libra consortium intends to carry out, for the first time in the Mero 3 area, a pilot test of the HISEP – High-Pressure Separation technology, developed and patented by Petrobras, which consists of subsea separation and reinjection, through the use of centrifugal pumps, of a large part of the CO2 produced along with the oil, allowing the oil processing plant to be relieved in the FPSO and consequently allowing oil production to increase.

“HISEP is currently being defined and tested. After qualification, a pilot can be installed in Mero 3 to perform longer-term tests and evaluate the technology.”

The Mero field is owned by the Libra consortium, which is operated by Petrobras (40%) and includes Shell Brasil Petróleo (20%), Total E&P do Brasil (20%), CNODC Brasil Petróleo e Gás (10%) and CNOOC Petroleum Brasil (10%).