Key facts

Location: Campos Basin, Brazil

Depth: ~1,780 metres (~5,840 feet)

Interests: Shell 50% (Shell operated), ONGC 27%, Qatar Petroleum International 23%

Fields: Ostra, Abalone, Argonauta

FPSO design capacity: 100 kb/d and 50 mscf/d of natural gas

Key contractors: BDFT (JV between SBM/MISC), Subsea 7, FMC Technologies, V&M do Brasil, Oceaneering, Transocean/Global Santa Fe, Halliburton


Parque das Conchas (BC-10) represents a key milestone in the development and commercialisation of Brazil’s deep-water oil. The three fields have been developed with subsea wells and manifolds, with each field connected to a centrally located floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel moored in around 1,780m of water. The development is the first of its kind based fully on subsea oil and gas separation and subsea pumping using 1,500 horsepower pumps. That’s like deploying F-1 engines underwater to bring production to the surface!

Environment and society

Social and environmental responsibility is a central pillar of Shell operations. In Brazil, Shell has been one of the main sponsors of a humpback whale migration monitoring project, in collaboration with Scientific Institute Aqualie, in the South Atlantic Ocean since 2002. Findings have led to a better understanding of the whales’ behaviour and will help assess how the rising number of whales affects their migratory destinations. In the medium term, the studies will help Shell to make responsible operational decisions that take sustainability into account.

At a more local level, Shell has focused on entrepreneurship and income generation. In 2013 we launched a version of the global programme, Shell LiveWIRE, which supports young entrepreneurs. Called Shell Iniciativa Empreededora, this initiative aims to stimulate a culture of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship in areas near to our operations.

Shell Environmental Education Project (PEA) is designed to engage with 20 communities descended from slaves, known as “quilombolas”. Representatives from Shell are listening to the communities’ hopes and concerns, and taking action to address them. They aim to build community trust, while limiting any negative impact of nearby operations.

Current developments

The heart of Parque das Conchas (BC-10) is the floating, production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) Espἰrito Santo, which has a processing capacity of 100,000 boe/day. Built by SBM in Singapore, the FPSO was delivered to Brazil in late 2008 and moored in around 1,780 metres of water at the Parque das Conchas (BC-10) site in the Campos Basin.

The first phase of the project included the development of three fields connected to the FPSO via subsea wells and manifolds. The double-hulled FPSO’s design required significant power and heat delivery systems to drive the seabed lift equipment and process the heavy crudes. The development wells were drilled by Global Santa Fe’s Arctic 1. The fields came on stream in July 2009. This first phase involved nine producing wells and one gas injector well. By July 2013 the project had produced more than 70 million boe.

Phase 2 of the project, to tie-in the Argonauta O-North field, came on stream in October 2013. It has an estimated peak production of 35,000 boe per day.

In July 2013 Shell and its partners announced that they would move forward with phase 3 of the project, which will include the installation of subsea infrastructure at the Massa and Argonauta O-South fields. These fields will be connected to the Espírito Santo. Once online, phase 3 of the BC-10 project is expected to have a peak production of 28,000 boe per day.

Deep-water milestones

More in about us

Fostering new skills

Parque das Conchas is our first exploration-to-production project in Brazil. On the way, we have trained and provided career opportunities for Brazilian engineers.


Deep water

Vast resources of oil and gas lie deep beneath the ocean’s surface. They have the potential to support economic growth and help meet the world’s growing energy needs.

The energy future

How will the world produce more, cleaner energy to power our homes and cities, and fuel our vehicles in decades to come?

Technical careers

Human solutions to global challenges: find out how you can develop your career in our technical teams.