Unconventional/complex reservoirs

Subsea-Systems Innovations Improve Heavy-Oil Production in Ultradeep Water

This paper reviews innovations and technologies used to make the Atlanta field in the Santos Basin a successful case of heavy-oil production in ultradeep water.

Atlanta field oil viscosity at room temperature.
Fig. 1—Atlanta field oil viscosity at room temperature.

Flow assurance in ultradeep water is a major issue for production. The Atlanta field, which produces heavy oil in ultradeep water, is a project combining several challenges: hydrates formation, emulsion tendency, scale formation, foaming, and high viscosities. The complete paper discusses innovations and technologies applied to make Atlanta a successful case of ultradeepwater heavy-oil production.


Discovered in 2001, the Atlanta field is in the presalt exclusion area in the north of the Santos Basin, 185 km southeast of Rio de Janeiro, at a water depth of 1550 m. The postsalt reservoir is contained in the Eocene interval and is characterized by high net-to-gross sands (82–94%) with a high average porosity of 36% and high permeabilities in the range of 4–6 Darcies.

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