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The Mexilhão Project, Brazil

As the second gas production development in Santos Basin, São Paulo State, the Mexilhão project has been fundamental to enabling the discovery of natural gas.

The 'Campo de Mexilhão' lies in the Santos Basin at 165km from Caraguatatuba coastline and 225km from the city of Santos, in water depths ranging from 320m to 550m. The gas and condensate were extracted from seven wells – four located in the field and three in adjacent areas – from an offshore fixed platform and transported through a pipeline connected to the Caraguatatuba gas treating unit.

Challenges

  • Traditional artisanal fisheries with poor mobility
  • National and international conservation areas such as Serra do Mar e de Ilhabela state parks
  • Intense touristic activities
  • Intersection with significant main roads
  • An organised and mobilised civil society set for discussions

Solution

  • Burying a submarine pipeline from the shore to a 70m depth to control its buoyancy benefiting the fishery in the coastal area.
  • Providing compensations to conservation units to extend technical and scientific knowledge and information management plans for improvement.
  • Conducting construction work during low season to reduce the impact on tourism and road traffic.
  • Carrying out public forums, with different units of the civil society, answering queries and taking suggestions prior to the public hearing and the EIA completion.

Value and benefits

Providing a comprehensive assessment of the communities of the north coast of São Paulo has served as a key reference for several similar projects on the Brazilian coast.

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