Subsea Well Response Project to be launched in Brazil

New Wave Media

June 15, 2013

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With the continued increase in deepwater drilling off the coast of Brazil, it is good to see that Petrobras, Brazil’s national operator, will soon have a well containment device ready for immediate deployment in case of a deepwater blowout such as was experienced in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy at the GoM.

According to a Petrobras drilling inspector who prefers to remain anonymous, the Brazilian super-major player believes that their well drilling and completion systems are totally reliable as long as their safety procedures are followed, however, they are taking no chances and have joined forces with other major operators to increase drilling, completion and production safety standards worldwide. After the GoM accident and following recommendations set out by OGP’s (International Association of Oil & Gas Producer) Global Industry Response Group (GIRG) a milestone document was produced, called Offshore safety: Getting it right now and for the long term, which provides implementation updates in each of the three GIRG areas, as well as on mutual aid agreements that transcend companies and borders. The first area is improving well safety another area is related to a worldwide effort in oil spill response technology and efficiency.

Here we’ll look at the GIRG’s second set of recommendations focused on response preparedness, which led to the creation of the Subsea Well response Project (SWRP), a consortium consisting of BG Group, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, Shell, Statoil and Total. SWRP has now designed and built a comprehensive capping system, complete with subsea dispersant capability. The first of the four capping and dispersant capabilities is now available to the global industry via subscription to OSRL, the world’s leading oil spill preparedness and response service company. The first capping stack and dispersant hardware was publicly unveiled in March at OSRL’s Stavanger storage base.

As a key partner in the Subsea Well Response Project, OSRL is setting up a new base in Rio de Janeiro to house intervention equipment and represent the project in the region, this new office will be operating sometime this year and will also feature a comprehensive capping system, complete with subsea dispersant capability among other assets for oil spill response and management. The entire system is designed to be readily transportable by air and/or sea from one of the four OSRL-operated strategic base locations in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia Pacific.

This well capping equipment enhances the industry’s capability to respond to a subsea well control incident and can be deployed anywhere in the world in a matter of days.

• Equipment is available for industry use through OSRL

• Transportable by sea and/or air

• The integrated intervention system includes:

1. Four capping stack toolboxes stored in Norway, Brazil, South Africa and Singapore

2. Two subsea dispersant hardware kits stored in Norway and Brazil

SWRP planned the intervention system, which includes the newly designed subsea capping and dispersant application equipment. OSRL owns the equipment and is responsible for storage and maintenance. OSRL will also make the equipment available to subscribers through subscription and a supplementary agreement.

Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.
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