March 24, 2011

Petrobras Brazil Oil Giant Told It Can Use Deep-Water Vessel In The Gulf of Mexico! Obama Is Allowing BRAZIL To PUMP OIL In Our Territory! YET He Placed A 7yr Ban On US Companies?!

Houston Chronicle
written by Brett Clanton
Thursday March 17, 2011

Petrobras has received final approval to operate the Gulf of Mexico's first floating production, storage and offloading vessel, clearing the way for the Brazilian oil giant to start pumping oil from two deep-water fields, federal regulators said Thursday.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement took the "final regulatory step" in green-lighting the project, with the approval of a production safety system permit and a supplemental deep-water operating plan, the bureau said in a statement.

The floating production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO, has a daily production capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil and 16 million cubic feet of natural gas. The ocean energy bureau said with the latest approvals, production at the Cascade and Chinook deep-water fields is expected to begin soon.

The fields are in more than 8,000 feet of water about 165 miles off Louisiana, in an area called Walker Ridge.

After missing previous targets, Petrobras officials said in January that production at Cascade-Chinook was set to begin by the end of March.

A spokesman in the company's Houston office said Thursday he was still studying the government approval and could not yet say how it may affect the project's timeline.

The FPSO used at Cascade-Chinook, which has been on the site since October, is called the B.W. Pioneer. Like other FPSO units, it is a giant tankerlike ship that can pump oil from deep-water wells and temporarily store it until smaller vessels can ferry the crude to shore.

The ships are commonly used off Brazil, but the Petrobras project marks the first time the model will be used in the Gulf.

Petrobras is the sole owner of the Cascade field and has a 66.7 percent stake in Chinook, with France's Total holding the remaining interest.

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