Equinor and its partners have sanctioned the development concept for the offshore Brazilian gas and condensate block BM-C-33, which will involve the use of a floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO).

The BM-C-33 block is located in the Campos Basin pre-salt region. It contains the Pão de Açúcar discovery, which was made by Repsol Sinopec Brasil in 2010.

Equinor is the operator of the BM-C-33 block with 35% stake, while Repsol Sinopec Brasil holds a 35% stake. The other partner in the offshore Brazilian block is Petrobras with a 30% stake.

Equinor projects senior vice president Geir Tungesvik said: “BM-C-33 is a key project in our portfolio and concept select is an important milestone in our effort to mature the project.

“It is important to further optimise and improve the project business case to make it more robust for future market.”

According to Equinor, production from BM-C-33 block will be sent to the FPSO moored at the site. The FPSO will process gas and oil/condensate to sales specifications before they are exported.

Crude oil from the BM-C-33 project will be offloaded using shuttle tankers and shipped to the international market following ship-to-ship transfer.

Equinor said that the partners have selected a new-build hull to accommodate 30 years lifetime of the field.

The Norwegian company said that the gas export solution of the project is based on an integrated offshore gas pipeline, which will connect the FPSO to a new dedicated onshore gas receiving facility to be located inside the Petrobras TECAB site at Cabiúnas.

From the Petrobras TECAB site, the gas will be sent to the domestic gas transmission network.

Equinor said that capacity for gas export is planned for 16Mm3/day with average exports estimated to be 14Mm3/day. The company said that the daily oil processing capacity of the FPSO will be 20,000m3.

Equinor Brazil country manager Veronica Coelho said: “BM-C-33 holds substantial volumes of gas. A completion of the ongoing liberalization of the natural gas market in Brazil in line with the current plan, is key for the further development of the project.

“BM-C-33 is an asset that can generate value for the society, both through the creation of direct and indirect jobs, ripple effects, and through a gas supply that can induce industrial growth, as has happened in other countries.”

The Brazilian block is located nearly 200km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, and is contained in water depths up to 2,900m.

It is estimated to hold resources of over 700 million barrels of light oil and three trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas.