Exploration and production: going deep to innovate | Petrobras | Petrobras
To get to the top, we dive as deep as possible
In the search for oil, we find ways to continuously transform the Exploration and Production (E&P) market on high seas (offshore) and on land (onshore). Our focus is on the search for profitable assets in ultra-deep waters, which open up ways to diversify low carbon businesses and promote the decarbonization of operations — of our company and our suppliers.
In order to do this, we joined forces with major global energy players to create new projects and we have invested in technologies and teams with technical excellence. Our Oil exploration and extraction is, above all, a way of creating a better future for everyone. Dive in with us and find out how!
But, after all, how oil is extracted offshore?
It all starts with acquiring the right to exploit an area. In Brazil, oil exploration contracts are governed by three Regulatory Frameworks: concession, production sharing and onerous assignment.
With that in hand, we begin studying the area through geological and geophysical assessments. And let's go deeper: our geoscientists analyze everything from the tectonic movements of the site and the behavior of fluids — oil, gas and water — in the reservoir, to the characteristics of the rocks in the region, to find out how and when they were formed.
Once that's done, we use advanced technology to identify the most likely places to find oil and the ideal positions for a first well.
In this stage, we begin the design and contracting of oil production systems, which includes platforms, subsea systems, well drilling and more.
When evaluating natural, maritime and economic variables, new questions and definitions arise: how many wells will be drilled? What will be the best lifting system to use? What type of platform will it be installed on?
After planning and executing these details, we start the oil production.
Finally, we are ready to produce oil. In practice, production consists of extracting oil, natural gas and water from production wells with platforms developed specifically for this purpose. Afterwards, we drain the fluids to a system where they will be separated and treated for use or reinjection.
And what happens when a production system comes to an end?
Where does the Petrobras oil come from?
A true giant of the seas
It is because of the Campus Basin that we are currently world leaders in technology for exploration and production in deep and ultra-deep waters. The region is one of the main and most productive offshore oil and gas basins in the world since the 1970s, and we have the power to grow much more.
It was the birthplace of several innovations that revolutionized the global market and that put our name on the list of the largest and most innovative offshore oil and gas producers in the world.
We have the largest oil extraction basin in Brazil
The Santos Basin has always been ahead of its time. Our first activities in the region began in the 1970s, but the technology and knowledge of the time limited our oil production potential. The solution, then, was to pause our operations and develop our own pioneering technologies and establish partnerships.
Decades later, we returned to invest in drilling and well production in the Santos Basin. In 2009, we produced the first pre-salt oil in the Basin, which currently comprises the largest producing fields in the country, such as Tupi and Búzios.
Confira alguns dos principais campos de petróleo da Bacia de Santos
Campo de Búzios
Esse resultado se deve à alta produtividade por poço em Búzios, à evolução do conhecimento acumulado nos campos do pré-sal e à utilização de tecnologias de última geração desenvolvidas para ampliar a eficiência dos reservatórios.
Campo de Mero
Seu reservatório é de altíssima produtividade. Apenas oito meses após entrar em operação na região, nossa plataforma FPSO Guanabara atingiu a capacidade de 180 mil barris de petróleo por dia.
National presence that becomes a world reference
Check out our map of operations
FPSOs: the ultimate and most modern oil production system
After extraction, the oil needs to go through a process for treatment, collection and shipment to logistics terminals. With the creation of FPSOs, all of this is done at high seas.
FPSOs are floating production, storage and transfer units, and their acronym means: Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading. As they do not require the installation of oil pipeline infrastructure, because they transfer oil to tankers, FPSOs have become the most efficient and modern alternative to supply the energy demand.
Learn more about FPSO units
Use of FPSOs to explore pre-salt and produce cleaner oil
The pioneering spirit of the units is also focused on sustainability. A growing number of Petrobras FPSOs already use CCUS and Hisep technologies to separate CO2 from extracted oil and reinject it directly into the soil. This process considerably reduces the release of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere, and it also increases the productivity of oil wells.
We explore ideas to produce a more sustainable future
Brazil possesses all the necessary conditions to be a global pioneer in the fair, inclusive and sustainable energy transition. And Petrobras possesses all the necessary conditions — and the plan — to lead this journey in Brazil. Our commitment is to seek continuity in improving the carbon efficiency of our E&P activities.
Since 2009, we have already achieved a 50% reduction in the intensity of GHG emissions in E&P activities. This result comes from actions related to improvements in energy efficiency, reduction of losses and greater use of gas with reduced flare burning, in addition to improvements in accounting and inventory of emissions.
All Electric: This concept represents the new generation of our FPSOs. The fully electrified floating units are even more energy efficient than traditional FPSOs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20%. Our purpose is to electrify all platforms in the coming years.
World's Largest CCUS Program: We are leaders in CO2 capture, utilization and geological storage (CCUS). The exclusive technology reinjects the gas into the reservoir and prevents release into the atmosphere. In 2022, we reached the record of 25% of the total injected by the global industry: 11 million tons!
Deployment of closed flare: Flare burning, which was previously considered essential for oil production, is now used on our platforms only in emergency situations. Our focus is to end routine flaring by 2030.
Energy transition and security are priorities for the global energy industry
Our purpose is to minimize not only the environmental impacts of our activities, but also social impacts. Therefore, we use the most modern technologies in new frontier areas. After all, a digital and data-driven operation not only allows for the construction of better predictive models and greater predictability, but also increases efficiency, boosts results and reduces the carbon intensity of operations.
We expanded our E&P areas and transformed our operations to ensure that everyone has opportunities to access energy, considering cost, distribution infrastructure and a minimum adaptation time.
In this sense, our strategic planning sees the new E&P frontiers as fundamental activities to meet energy demand, while providing resources for a fair, safe and accessible transition to renewable sources.
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