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Total to launch large-scale development of Libra ultra-deep water oil field in Brazil

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The French oil company Total said on Monday (Dec.18) that it has decided to launch the first large-scale development of its Libra project in the ultra-deep ocean waters off Brazil, in the Santos Basin, approximately 200 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Total is part of the consortium responsible for exploring a developing the field, with a 20% stake, alongside Petrobras (operator, with 40%), Shell (20%), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (10%) and China National Petroleum Corporation (10%). The companies are gathering their extensive industry experience to develop this giant field.

Total  disclosed it plans to dispatch a floating production storage and offloading unit to the Northwestern part of the pre-salt oil basin, where the company and its partners believe they can pump oil for less than $20 a barrel.

That FPSO, called the Mero 1, would  have an oil-production capacity of 150,000 barrels a day, and is expected to come online in 2021. Total believes the Libra consortium could add three more FPSOs in the region to produce some 600,000 barrels a day.

Total and its partners began pumping oil from a smaller field last November, producing some 50,000 barrels a day, part of an effort to see how the field performs and to generate early revenue.