With an investment of $115 million, Petrobras Bolivia (35%, the operator of the San Antonio Block), in partnership with YPFB Andina (50%) and Total (15%), inaugurated the third natural gas processing unit - known as the "Third Train” - at the Sábalo Gas Plant. The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, the Bolivian Hydrocarbons and Energy Minister, Juan José Sosa, and the CEO of YPFB, Carlos Villegas, attended the ceremony held on February 28.
This undertaking materializes the commitments made for the second phase of the Development Plan approved for the Sábalo field, which includes the drilling of three wells (SBL-7, SBL-8 and SBL-9), the first of which went on stream last December. The other two are expected to start producing in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
The Plan, which had a total cost of approximately US$ 300 million to be implemented, also called for the revamp of the existing trains I and II. Since January 2011, the project allowed gas production to be increased by 15%, equivalent to more than 2 million cubic meters per day (MMm³/d).
Together with the two existing trains, the Third Train at the Sábalo Gas Plant eliminates contaminants and separates and stabilizes the gas before it is delivered to YPFB which, in turn, supplies the product to both the domestic and foreign markets. The processing capacity is 6.7 MMm³/d. With the plant coming on stream, production at the San Antonio Block rose to 17 MMm³/d in January 2012. As of next June, when well SBL-8 is scheduled for completion, the production volume will reach 19 MMm³/d.
There will also be a positive impact on the production of liquids, which is slated to increase from 16,900 to 20,000 barrels per day as of June 2012. The third natural gas processing unit is fitted with an innovative high-tech control system. Operations got underway after tests to check the gas output quality, as well as the engines and safety systems capacity, were approved.
Managed by Petrobras Bolivia, the works demanded more than 2.9 million man-hours to be completed. During this period, there was no record of any incident causing sick leave injuries; demonstrating not only the high level of commitment to and compliance with the health, safety and environment standards that govern the Company's operations, but also the contractors’ adjustments to working under this system.
Gas plant in Bolivia gets third unit from Petrobras