Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor has achieved production of the first oil from the Peregrino phase 2 project in the offshore Campos Basin in Brazil.

Production from phase 2 development of the Peregrino heavy oil field is being carried out through a new well head platform and drilling rig called Peregrino C. The new platform is installed in 120m of water depth.

The plan of development for the project was submitted in 2015 by Statoil (now Equinor). The project was scheduled to begin production in 2020 but was impacted by Covid-19.

Equinor said that Peregrino phase 2 was still executed within the original cost estimate of $3bn.

Equinor projects, drilling and procurement executive vice president Geir Tungesvik said: “Covid-19 has made Peregrino phase 2 a challenging project, and I want to thank everyone involved for delivering the project with excellent HSE results.”

The phase 2 project is aimed at extending the lifetime and value of the offshore Brazilian field and deliver an additional 250-300 million barrels. This will be through the production from the Peregrino Southwest area following the drilling of 15 oil producers and six water injectors.

Peregrino phase 2 produces via a tieback to the existing Peregrino floating production storage and offloading (FPSO). The project also involved a new pipeline for importing gas to the Peregrino C platform for power generation.

Equinor exploration and production international executive vice president Al Cook said: “The start-up of Peregrino Phase 2 is an important milestone in Equinor’s growth strategy in Brazil.

“This project showcases how we can bring valuable new resources onto production at the same time as investing in technology to cut carbon emissions. I am proud that Peregrino Phase 2 will increase field production to 110,000 barrels per day at plateau whilst halving our emissions intensity.”

The Peregrino field was brought on stream in 2011. In July 2022, production at the Campos Basin field was restarted after a gap of more than two years to undertake unplanned maintenance of the subsea equipment.

Equinor is the operator of the field with a 60% stake and is partnered by Sinochem, which holds the remaining 40% stake.