Brazil's pre-salt environments consist of carbonates and are found below the salt layer. Exploration and development of the pre-salt layer is in its infancy with only a handful of wells drilled so far. But with reservoirs buried below as much as 6,500 feet of salt, the pre-salt play presents a multifaceted deepwater scenario that is bringing new challenges to Brazilian exploration and production. Halliburton has highlighted some of these challenges to the right.

Reservoirs in this domain are complex heterogeneous layered carbonates, which makes accurate reservoir characterization very challenging. Drilling these wells is proving to be extremely difficult with low penetration rates. The tendency for borehole deviation while drilling in salt elevates the importance of precise directional control. Flow assurance related to paraffin deposition, hydrate and scaling control is also a challenge. In addition, the pre-salt environment is very corrosive with significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) present. This places a high demand on special cement and metallurgy throughout the drilling and completion process.

Developing Brazil's pre-salt reservoirs requires a broad scope of technologies and capabilities to achieve economical and operational success. Halliburton has been heavily involved in developing Brazil's pre-salt wells, has extensive experience in other deepwater regions and subsalt plays, and employs best practices and lessons learned from years of success in Brazil's post-salt regimes.

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