Petrobras announced that the start of production of the Mero 1 project in Brazil has been postponed to Q1 2022 owing to the delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The production was due to begin in the fourth quarter of this year through the Guanabara floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO). However, it has been delayed as the FPSO is not ready to be delivered to the offshore Brazilian field.

Petrobras stated: “The FPSO is being converted in China and due to the Covid-19 pandemic scenario, there was a delay in the works of the unit, with consequent adjustment in the schedule.”

The Guanabara FPSO is being designed to process 180,000 barrels of oil per day, 424 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, and 225,000 barrels of water injection per day. It will have an oil storage capacity of 1,400,000 barrels.

The FPSO will be deployed at the Mero field located in the Libra block in the Santos Basin pre-salt.

Japan-based MODEC will handle the engineering, procurement, construction, mobilisation, installation, and operation of the Guanabara FPSO, under a contract awarded in December 2017.

MODEC will also deliver the topsides, processing equipment, hull, and marine systems of the vessel.

Petrobras is the operator of the Mero field with a stake of 40%. The company is partnered by Shell Brasil Petróleo (20%), Total E&P do Brasil (20%), CNODC Brasil Petróleo e Gás (10%), and CNOOC Petroleum Brasil (10%).

The deep-water oil field will involve development through multiple phases involving various FPSOs. It has been producing from FPSO Pioneiro de Libra since late 2017.

The Mero 1 project is located in the northwestern area of the original Libra block in the Santos Basin. It is contained in a water depth of 2,100m.