OSLO, March 29 (Reuters) - Brazil's state oil company Petrobras's (PETR4.SA) plan to build a ship rig for a heavy oil project in the Papa Terra field with its partner Chevron (CVX.N) is on schedule, the company said on Thursday.
Petrobras and Chevron are in talks to build a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel which should, when the two companies formally agree, begin to produce oil in 2010. Petrobras, who controls the field, earlier said production would start at the end of 2011.
"Everything is on schedule and it will start as planned," Chief Executive Jose Gabrielli de Azevedo told Reuters at a conference in Oslo. He added that the project is going well.
Chevron, which owns a 37.5 percent stake in the Papa Terra field, said it would take around 24 months to build the FPSO before production can start.
"We are hoping to meet the schedule that Petrobras is proposing... If Papa Terra starts producing in 2010 it would be a nice addition to our portfolio," Chevron country manager Tim Miller said.
Petrobras estimates the deep-water field contains at least 700 million barrels of oil.