Oil Rig Ballast Control System Accidents
Ballast control systems are a vital part of semi-submersible oil platforms. The ballast control system is made up of a network of pipes, valves, pumps, and tanks, which work as a liquid control system to keep the vessel at an even keel. Offshore drilling is an extremely risky undertaking, which is susceptible to accidents, which may cause human casualties and environmental disasters. One of the key systems necessary to keep oil rigs afloat, is the effective design of the user interface for the ballast control system, which significantly contributes to overall safety of a rig’s crew and the environment. The threat of disaster is the main reason to provide the operators with the most effective ballast control system possible. One such disaster occurred in 2001 aboard Petrobras’ P36 oil rig.
Riserless Light Well Intervention for Deepwater Wells
Riserless Light Well Intervention (RLWI) enables operators to increase the oil and gas recovery rate from subsea oil wells. It allows rapid well access by using smaller DP vessels instead of larger semisub drilling rigs or drillships. RLWI also enables subsea well intervention without having to use a drilling riser package connected to the subsea stack, which is topped by the blowout preventer system. Riserless intervention is a cost-saving alternative to drilling rigs, reducing mobilization time for life-of-well operations including wireline, logging, light perforating, zone isolation, plug setting and removal, and decommissioning. The technology is based on wireline well maintenance, where the cable is routed via a subsea lubricator system into the subsea well.
Polar Onyx PLSV
The Polar Onyx is arguably the most modern PLSV working offshore Brazil. It is a good example of how Petrobras is demanding high-powered PLSV’s and OSV’s in general to tackle the harsh environments found in Brazil’s deepwater plays. The high capacity new-built is designed for operations in harsh conditions and deep waters and is configured with an Ulstein X-bow. It is built to the highest standard in dynamic positioning, DP3 (Operations +). Final outfitting took place in Schiedam in the Netherlands, where Huisman has installed a 275t vertical lay system (VLS) and a deck-mounted carousel with capacity for 2,000t of flexible pipes. Two permanent work-class ROVs delivered by Ceona’s partner ROVOP, which can operate in 3,000m water depth, were also mobilized in Schiedam.
Pre-salt Production Start for P-58
Petrobras’s P-58 FPSO started operations at Parque das Baleias, off the state of Espírito Santo, on the north sector of the Campos Basin through well 7-BFR-7-ESS, another pre-salt producer, which is showing an excellent productivity. P-58 is part of the North project of Parque das Baleias, which encompasses production from Baleia Franca, Cachalote, Jubarte, Baleia Azul and Baleia Anã plays. P-58 is moored approximately 85 km off Espírito Santo, at a water depth of 1,400 meters. In the upcoming months, 15 production other wells, being 8 pre-salt and 7 post-salt, as well as 9 injection wells will be interconnected to it through 250 km of flexible pipelines and two subsea manifolds.
Advanced Drilling Technology: Mapping-While-Drilling
Oil and Gas drilling teams usually contend with tight schedules for project developments and this may eventually lead to low quality plans and limited risk assessment, which may cause expensive and potentially dangerous drilling problems, such as, stuck pipes, violent kicks, unproductive time and cost overruns. The introduction of Schlumberger’s reservoir mapping-while-drilling service is enabling drillers to make better decisions in short timeframes and avoid costly mistakes. For the operators, the main benefits from the effective well placement may be maximized production, minimized construction and intervention costs. The process of well placements brings together many different disciplines…
São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelago Research Station
The São Pedro and São Paulo archipelago (ASPSP) is composed by 15 small islands or rock outcrops, located about 1,000 km off the coast of Rio Grande do Norte and approximately 610 km from the Fernando de Noronha archipelago in Northeast Brazil, and has a total emerged area of is approximately 17,000 square meters. The low altitude and small size made the location a critical point for navigation, because the islands are very difficult to detect with the naked eye at sea level, especially under adverse light and weather conditions which have led to many shipwrecks in the past. The first and most famous of these wrecks was the one that led to the discovery of the archipelago.
Composites X Steel Deepwater Pipes
The development of pipes that can withstand high pressure, heat and corrosion in deepwater locations such as offshore Brazil and the GoM and WA is continuous. For many years steel piping dominated the O&G industry but with pre-salt projects beyond 2,000 meters deep and corrosive enhanced oil recovery techniques widely being used in the industry, pipeline manufacturers have been looking for more flexible and robust materials. France's Technip, which is a world leader in pipe manufacture, uses layered steel with a stainless steel or plastic lining for main offshore pipes. However, British engineering company Magma Global and Dutch company Airborne are pioneering composite pipes made from a fusion of high-end fibers and plastics which are up to 90% lighter than steel pipes and do not corrode.
Brazil Coastal Monitoring
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coast that is 7,491 km (4,655 mi) long. Offshore, numerous islands and archipelagos form part of Brazilian territory, such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Abrolhos, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz Islands. Yet Brazil has no Coast Guard, the coast being patrolled by the Brazilian Navy, which does not have a mandate to make arrests, but which does keep in check illegal fishing. Costal policing would theoretically be done by the Federal Police. However, the reality is that they do not have anything near enough assets to patrol such a large coast. In terms of environmental monitoring…
U/W Internet Cable Between Brazil and Africa
The system will connect Luanda in Angola, with Fortaleza in Ceará in northern Brazil and the u/w cable with have a capacity to transmit 40 terabits per second, or 40 trillion bits per second, which will greatly speed up trans-Atlantic media, O&G and general business connections. Eventually an extension of the cable will also reach Santos, on the coast of São Paulo and Miami. The initial project will have an investment of US$160 million, with another US$100 million destined to extra connections. This is the essence of the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), which cable operator Angola Cables plans to install by 2015 or the beginning of 2016 in the region. According to company president Antonio Nunes, this will be the first u/w cable in the southern hemisphere linking Brazil to Africa.
Brazil OSV Market
In the wake of the Subsea Vessel Brazil conference in Rio, Petrobras announced the approval to contract eight support vessels for its offshore activities. These are part of the 3rd Fleet OSV Renewal Plan (Prorefam). This is the 5th round and 4 vessels will be contracted from Bram Offshore, to be build at the Navship shipyard in the state of Santa Catarina, 3 from Starnav, with construction planned for the Detroit shipyard, also in Santa Catarina and 1 from Norskan, which will be built at the STX (Vard) shipyard in Niteroi, across the bridge from the city of Rio, where the Dof and Nordskan build all their Brazilian flagged ships. This is good news for the shipyards involved and for the OSV market in general, as the Brazilian offshore maritime market is heavily dependent on Petrobras orders.
Research Drilling Proposals for the Brazilian Equatorial Margin
A NSF-sponsored workshop will be held in the coastal town of Maresias, São Paulo, Brazil, from the 4th to the 6th of February 2014, to discuss, plan and define the conceptual basis for developing an International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Drilling Proposal to investigate the Brazilian Equatorial Margin. b) The opening and expansion of the South Atlantic Ocean. The Brazilian Equatorial Margin (BEM) is a passive, stable margin at equatorial latitudes characterized by continuous sedimentary sequences divided among a series of basins. These basins contain a unique record of regional tectonic, biotic, and climatic events from the end of the early Cretaceous to present.
Cobalt’s Lontra 1 off Angola taps “Global Scale” reserves
Cobalt International Energy recently said the drill stem test results at its Lontra 1 pre-salt well off Angola were "exceptional, with excellent quality reservoirs that are better than we had expected". This may be the first major pre-salt find in WA that matches some of the huge pre-salt plays uncorked in Brazil. Drilled to a depth of 4,195 meters (13,843 feet) and penetrating some 75 meters of net pay, Cobalt said that, "while further appraisal drilling will be required to determine the ultimate size of the Lontra field, it is clear that Lontra is a discovery on a global scale”. Lontra is a pre-salt prospect off Angola in Block 20.
Carcará - Another Big Pre-salt Play in Brazil
The Carcará oilfield off the Brazilian coast is named for a bird of prey that is liberally known as the Brazilian Eagle, its scientic name is: Polyborus Plancus. Carcará located in Block BM-S-8 is believed to hold one of the thickest reservoirs ever discovered in Brazil's Santos Basin pre-salt cluster, with a reservoir thickness of 471 meters. The play is being developed by a consortium composed of Petrobras (66%), Galp Energy (14%), and Brazilian players QGEP and Barra Energia with (10%) each. Tested flow rates and reservoir conditions at the Carcará discovery are superior to the famous Lula field. The Lula field, which is currently producing about 100,000 bopd, is estimated to hold recoverable reserves of between 5 billion and 8 billion boe.
Brazil Exploration Review 2013
The auction of Libra pre-salt field, forecast to contain between 8 and 12 billion barrels boe in recoverable reserves, was Brazil's first bidding round in the pre-salt area, and failed to meet the high expectations placed on it by the Brazilian government, yet the government, the ANP (National Oil Regulator) and Petrobras are highly satisfied with the results because they managed to attract important and experienced partners in Shell and Total, along with the high rolling Chinese companies. Despite a nine-month global publicity campaign and predictions of fervent bidding by as many as 40 firms, the license was awarded to the only consortium to register a bid. Another controversial state controlled company PPSA will oversee the contract’s implementation, having both voting and veto rights.
OTC Brasil 2013 – Petrobras Geology & Geophysics Expertise
During the OTC Brasil 2013 there were daily panel session, which covered some interesting themes. On Wednesday, October 30th, the panel session: Perspectives on E&P in the South Atlantic, had as one of its panelists Petrobras’ E&P Director, José Miranda Formigli Filho, known throughout Brazil simply as Formigli. According to Formigli, Petrobras’ knowledge of geology and geophysics (G&G) was vital for the national operator to meet the technological challenges and reach its exploratory success in deepwater pre-salt and post-salt E&P. Formigli estimated that by 2020 the pre-salt production will represent 50% of Petrobras’ output with the potential to reach some 31 billion barrels boe. By 2035, some 39 million barrels per day of new crude oil supply will be needed.
Wave Glider Capabilities and Uses
The Wave Glider is the first unmanned autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) to use wave energy for propulsion. Its ability to stay out at sea gathering data for long periods of time, through all weather conditions, and communicate real-time data from the surface of the ocean, assures it has a wide array of uses both for academia and for the offshore industry. First introduced in 2009, Wave Gliders have since traveled more than 300,000 nautical miles, set a world record for longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle, and been deployed on more than 100 customer missions ranging from the Canary Islands and the UK in the Atlantic Ocean to Australia in the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic.
Brazil Launches Oil Spill Containment Plan
Finally, after much criticism from environmentalists, politicians and even from oil industry executives, the Brazilian government launches a comprehensive oil spill contingency plan. Ironically, the PNC (National Contingency Plan), is being launched one day after the giant Libra pre-salt field auction. It’s hard to understand why the PNC wasn’t announced before the Libra auction, especially if it was ready, as it must have been. The PNC plan, according to the biggest Brazilian newspaper O Globo, had been ready and shelved in a Brazilian State Department office for over one year. Interestingly, the plan was announced one day after this same newspaper alerted that the Libra field was going to be auctioned without any oil spill contingency plan ready.