The Maromba field is an offshore oil development located in the Campos Basin of Brazil. Credit: MR.Zanis/
The oil extracted from the field will be transferred to the Polvo FPSO vessel, which has a storage capacity of 1.2 million barrels. Credit: iurii/
Shuttle tankers will transport oil from Polvo. Credit: Andriy Sharpilo/

The Maromba oil field is an offshore project located in the southern region of Brazil’s Campos Basin.

The field is fully owned by BW Energy, which holds the licensing rights. Magma Oil possesses an option to acquire a 5% stake in the Maromba licence, which is anticipated to be exercised upon the commencement of oil production.

BW Energy acquired the field in 2019 for $115m from Petrobras, which held a 70% interest, and Chevron, which held a 30% interest.

The development plan for the Maromba field was officially submitted to Brazil’s National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) in December 2019 and received approval in August 2020.

The initial environmental baseline survey was concluded in the first quarter of 2021, and the subsequent environmental impact assessment was presented to the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) in the third quarter of 2021.

At its peak, the Maromba field is projected to yield an average annual oil production ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 barrels per day (bpd). When combined with the plans for the Dussafu field, BW Energy’s net production is estimated to surpass 50,000bpd by 2025.

Location of the Maromba oil field

The Maromba discovery is situated 100km south-east of Cabo Frio, within the Campos Basin of Brazil. The location has a water depth of approximately 160m and is encompassed by a 375km² area within the BC-20A concession, which was previously part of the larger BC-20 exploration block.

Adjacent to Maromba to the east is the Papa Terra Field, also a product of the division of the BC-20 blocks and currently operated by Petrobras.

Discovery and appraisal

Post-exploration in Block BC-20, the RJS609 Assessment Area and Papa-Terra areas were retained for development.

Between 1980 and 2006, nine wells were drilled within the licence area, with eight yielding oil discoveries across various geological layers, including the Eocene, Maastrichtian, Albian, Aptian, and Barremian strata.

A Declaration of Commerciality was submitted in 2005, initiating a 27-year production period. The field development plan was presented to authorities in June 2006. The RJS609 area completed all appraisal drilling necessary for a Declaration of Commerciality filed in December 2006, leading to the designation of the new field as Maromba.

Papa-Terra’s initial appraisal phase was completed, with six wells drilled by early 2007, revealing approximately 350 million barrels (mbbl) of potentially recoverable oil across three reservoirs.

Maromba oil field reserves

The net contingent resources at Maromba BC-20A Block were estimated at 75mbbl in 1P and 100.1mbbl in 2P as of April 2022.

The gross 1P and 2P reserves were estimated at 75mbbls and 105.4mbbls, respectively.

Maromba oil field development

The Maromba field is planned to be developed in phases, with the first phase expected to begin production in 2025.

Phase one development will target heavy crude oil in the Maastrichtian reservoir with low relative viscosity and sulphur content. It will consist of horizontal subsea wells tied back to the Polvo floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The wells will be completed with dual electric submersible pumps (ESPs).

Phase two development at Maromba will consist of up to four additional horizontal production wells and two water injectors.

The current field development plan involves a dry tree setup with five initial production wells drilled from a wellhead platform, which will be connected to the Polvo FPSO vessel. Shuttle tankers will facilitate the transportation of the produced oil.

The subsea infrastructure will comprise a subsea umbilical, a power cable, six test flowlines, eight production flowlines, a subsea pipeline end manifold (PLEM), and two mid-water arches labelled A and B.

Prospects for future development include additional infield drilling targeting the Maastrichtian reservoir and nearby satellite reservoirs with known oil presence in the Eocene and Maastrichtian layers. Further evaluation of the promising carbonate reservoirs in the Albian, Aptian, and Barremian is also planned.

Polvo FPSO details

The Polvo FPSO is designed to accommodate feed from up to ten production wells and has a storage capacity of 1.2mbbl. Its total liquid handling capability is 85,000bpd while oil production capacity is 65,000bpd and water treatment capacity is 75,000bpd. The vessel features a turret mooring system.

BW Energy secured an agreement to purchase the Polvo FPSO from BW Offshore for $50m, in April 2022. The FPSO will undergo upgrades before being redeployed at the Maromba field.