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PARIS, June 11 (Reuters) - French energy group Total said it had launched the second phase of development for the Mero project off the coast of Brazil, along with its partners, as the deep offshore oil project moves closer to getting off the ground.
"The decision to launch Mero 2 comes as a new milestone in this large-scale project that will develop the giant oil resources of the Mero field, estimated at 3 to 4 billion barrels," said Arnaud Breuillac, Total's head of exploration and production.
The Mero 2 floating production storage and offloading vessel(FPSO) will have a liquid treatment capacity of 180,000 barrels per day and is expected to start by 2022.
Total said the launch of Mero 2, two further FPSOs of the same capacity would be added to the project subject to approval by the partners. All four producing units will be deployed in the northwestern part of the Libra block.
The Mero 1 project which is currently under development was progressing as planned with a start-up expected in 2021, it said.
Petrobras owns 40% of the Libra project, while Shell and Total SA each own 20%. Chinese state oil companies CNOOC Ltd and China National Petroleum Corp Ltd each hold 10 percent in the project.
Once the full potential of the field is developed, production should reach more than 600,000 barrels per day, Breuillac said in a statement. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Bate Felix, editing by Louise Heavens)