Petrobras said that the floating production storage and offloading platform (FPSO) is capable of processing the heaviest and most viscous oil to be produced in Brazilian offshore fields.

The unit will be used as a pilot production project for the Siri reservoir, which is located in the Badejo field. The platform will be capable of producing up to 15,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). The information obtained during the testing phase will be used in the definitive development project for the reservoir, which foresees drilling several wells and the installation of a new platform.

Petrobras said that, more than a new production system, the FPSO Cidade de Rio das Ostras will be a lab for the development of other offshore extra-heavy oil fields such as Marlim Leste, Albacora Leste, Papa-Terra and Maromba, all in the Campos Basin.

Chartered from Canadian-Norwegian firm Teekay-Petrojarl, the new platform is the outcome of the conversion of an oil tanker into an FPSO. The vessel is capable of lifting, from two wells, up to 15,000bpd and of storing up to 200,000 barrels. The unit is scheduled to go online late in the third quarter of 2008.