Total’s Pazflor field wins OTC achievement award

This story profiles the Offshore Technology Conference’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations or Institutions.

By Tanya Rutledge

Nearly two years into production, Total’s Pazflor field is exceeding expectations on all fronts.

The 238-square-mile field offshore from Angola hit its production plateau of 220,000 barrels of oil per day just six months after field startup. Pazflor began production in August 2011, one month ahead of schedule.

Louis Bon, vice president of operations for Total, said the field is running at a 97 percent reliability rate, which means it is 97 percent available at all times. Total had targeted a reliability rate of between 90 percent and 95 percent for Pazflor.

“That has been one of our best successes,” he said. “We credit it to both the construction and also the large amount of testing we did on the equipment to make sure it was qualified.”

Pazflor represents the first-ever use of subsea separation and boosting in a new field that produces light and heavy oil, as well as gas.

Both of Pazflor’s subsea separation units are connected to a waiting Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel, or FPSO, which is the largest of its kind in the world and is the first to process two very different grades of oil. The installation of the gas liquid separating systems on the seabed also represented a technological first.

Pazflor, which is the largest project operated by Total, has estimated proven and probable reserves of 590 million barrels.

Bon said Pazflor has been such a success right out of the gate that Total is moving forward with several other similar FPSO developments in Angola, including one scheduled to come online next year, followed by two others.

“We will be moving ahead and feeding on the experience from Pazflor,” he said.