Deepwater Challenges in Brazil

New Wave Media

March 18, 2010

From seismic data analysis to intelligent wells, the challenges facing deep water O&G production in Brazil are being faced.
Just five years ago, many of the technologies we now take for granted in subsea systems development, would have been considered improbable, at best. Although, these same technologies have been under development by players and specially by the major subsea systems providers for a decade and in many cases quite a bit longer than that.
There is no doubt in the subsea industry that most deepwater subsea system experiments started in the North Sea and some old deepwater projects in the GOM, with few early projects being conducted in the very peculiar Brazilian Deep.
Some of the early project in Brazil are very important, such as the Marlim Field in the northeast Campos Basin, which is still the World´s largest deepwater subsea development.
The Marlim field covers 130 square km with water depths up to 1000m. In this area there are 83 production wells and 46 water injectors, including 36 horizontal wells. FMC Technologies has been the Petrobras longstanding partner in this development.
Today, with the increasing push into ultra-deep field developments, we have challenges such as operators being capable of controlling these ultra-deep wells or a system of interconnected wells, in real time on site in FPSO or from remote bases.
Other challenges relate to the choice and development of specific drilling fluids, in order to address problems such as well cementation.
Multiphase pumping systems, specially electric systems are showing good results as is the use of intricate subsea separation systems, which increase lifting efficiency and decrease the need of pipe interventions.
At extreme depths even ROV interventions can become critical due to equipment fatigue due to strong currents, low temperature and high pressure found in ultra-deep waters.
These are but a few of the challenges facing deep and ultra-deep O&G field developments in Brazil.
Claudio Paschoa
Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.