Total's giant Pazflor starts oil production offshore Angola

By Phaedra Friend Troy

French major Total (NYSE:TOT) has begun oil production from its giant Pazflor field development offshore Angola in West Africa.

Achieving first oil before the initial schedule, Pazflor is located on Block 17, about 150 kilometers offshore Luanda in water depths ranging from 600 to 1,200 meters. The massive oil and gas development is estimated to contain proved and probable reserves of 590 million barrels.

The Pazflor oil and gas development calls for an extensive subsea installation, including 180 kilometers of flowlines tying together 49 subsea wells and 10,000 metric tons of subsea equipment.

Pazflor incorporates the Hortensia, Perpetua, Zinia and Acacia oil and gas discoveries, and the development mirrors the Girassol and Dalia project, except for one major upgrade. The fields contain two different grades of oil -- Miocene and Oligocene – which required subsea separation. The Pazflor development separates gas from liquids on the seabed, a world first on this scale.

Kept in place by 16 subsea mooring lines, the world’s largest FPSO receives the production. The Pazflor FPSO is able to process 200,000 barrels of oil and 150 million cubic feet of gas a day. The vessel can store up to 1.9 million barrels of crude, and the produced natural gas is re-injected into the reservoir, but may be exported to an Angola LNG plant if that becomes an option.

Production at Pazflor is expected to increase to 220,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day over the next few months.

Total operates Block 17 with 40 percent interest, and Sonangol is the concession holder. Project partners include Statoil with 23.3 percent, Esso Exploration Angola with 20 percent and BP with 16.67 percent.

With four major production hubs, Block 17 also contains the Girassol-Rosa, Dalia and CLOV developments.

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