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Image courtesy of Petrobras.

Petrobras landed a US$500 million loan guarantee from Japan’s export credit agency Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and Mizuho Bank Thursday to build and convert 12 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) platform hulls.

The loans will be used to boost Petrobras’ pre-salt production and increase the company’s total output.

The platforms are being built in the Santos Basin, located about 186 miles (300 km) off the east coast of Brazil.

Eight of the FPSOs (P-66, P-67, P-68, P-69, P-70, P-71, P-72, P-73) are assigned to blocks BM-S-9 and BM-S-11.

The other four FPSOS (P-74, P-75, P-76 and P-77) will be used in the onerous concession areas.

Petrobras operates all of its pre-salt plays.

Pre-salt now makes up slightly more than 20 percent of Petrobras’ oil production in Brazil.

The company projects that pre-salt will account for around 50 percent of its production in 2020.

Petrobras plans to have doubled its total output to 4.2 million barrels of oil per day by 2020, numbers that would make it one of the top five producers in the world.

Output from its pre-salt fields climbed to over 500,000 barrels of oil a day in June, nearly three times the output in 2012.

Pre-salt output now accounts for almost a quarter of Petrobras’ two million bpd production.