Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - brazil

Brazil´s Floating Offshore Oil Terminal set for 2014

June 18, 2013

Petrobras will launch a world first floating offshore oil terminal in order to be able to transfer oil to oil tankers offshore, beginning in 2014. Up until now the oil had to be transported through pipelines from the offshore rigs to the coast where tankers would load up the oil. It is expected that this new system will decrease oil transportation costs as tankers will be relieved from the high Brazilian port taxes, the tankers will also save up on their own bunker oil as the distances they will have to travel will decrease. The new system should be used mainly for export oil and will also probably be a hub for tankers coming to fill up on deepwater pre-salt oil.

OilFinder – Local Technology for Oil Seep Identification

June 15, 2013

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[No text]Even with the continued increase foreign O&G service companies opening shop in Brazil, local companies also begin to offer more specialized services that once had to be imported. In some instances, even competing very favorably with international companies, well established in the industry. OilFinder is one of these local companies and it offers services such as remote sensing and computational modeling solutions for Exploration and Production of O&G and also solutions for emergency situations in case of oil spills. OilFinder has already made an impact with its Inverse Modeling services, reportedly an exclusive and innovative technology that estimates the origin of oil seeps on the seafloor.

More Investments Needed Form Offshore Inspections in Brazil

June 21, 2013

With the recent Chevron/Frade spill, which has been ongoing for over 25 days, new light was shed on the shortcomings of ANP (The national O&G regulator). To begin with the regulator has only spent around $2.5 million of its allotted $8 million budget for inspection of oil and gas E&P in Brazil. As stated by O Globo, Brazil’s leading newspaper, that amount is about what Petrobras spends yearly in coffee for its employees. Only 3% of the agencies total budged is destined for O&G inspections. All that will most likely change in the near future, hopefully. For this to change there needs to be a change of policy in the Brazilian government regarding the importance of O&G activities inspections.

Aubin Brings its Gel Based Products to Brazil

June 15, 2013

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Although the Scottish chemical technology company Aubin originally specialized as a cement and stimulation additive supplier, it has made strong inroads into the Oil and Gas industry in recent years, with the subsea sector being their main target. The company is based in Ellon, Aberdeenshire and has been in business since 1987. Some 6 years ago they came up with a novel product, which came to be known as “gel with a memory”. It is mainly used for pipe pigging purposes as it can be squashed but returns to its original shape. Named L-gel, the product is also used for risers, which are considered impossible to be pigged. It can go around tight bends and through blocked areas where a conventional pig would probably get stuck.

Brazilian Pre-salt Discoveries Raise Expectations for New Discoveries in WA

June 15, 2013

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Statoil recently increased the estimates for their Campos Basin pre-salt O&G discoveries up to a substantial total of 1.24 billion barrels boe. Consequently Statoil has also increased its optimism for the geologically similar plays it has in Angola. Not only are the cross ocean plays geologically similar but they are also located along the same longitude. Both pre-salt geological formations off the Brazilian and West African coasts have their origins in common, something that goes back around 120 million years ago, when ancient Gondwana split into what is now known as South America and Africa. The pre-salt reservoirs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are expected to contain large quantities of light oil.

Wave Energy Research in Brazil Taking Off

June 15, 2013

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This month the first serious experiment with wave energy officially begins in Brazil. The first wave energy plant in the country was installed in the northeast state of Ceará, more specifically in the port of Pecém, located 60km from the state capital Fortaleza and will be officially launched during the Rio+20 taking place in Rio de Janeiro. With the Brazilian coastline being 8,000km long, scientists from COPPE/UFRJ, estimate that with wave energy plants up and down the coast the country could produce up to 87 gigawatts of which 20% could conceivably be converted in electricity, this would add up to 17% of the country´s total installed electrical energy capacity.

Future of AUVs in Brazil

June 15, 2013

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With companies such as Kongsberg and ECA bringing state of the art AUV models into the Brazilian market, and with the great demand for AUV services from the O&G industry, government agencies and universities, the future of AUVs in Brazil looks really promising. Presently, most AUVs are being employed by the O&G industry for pipeline routing and monitoring, seabed mapping and other specialized services. However there is a growing demand from academia to employ AUVs is oceanographic research and environmental research, this is an important development because it will allow universities to have unprecedented leverage to undertake complex research programs from shallow water to the deepest ocean basins off Brazil and off all the eastern South American coastline…

C&C Technologies Thriving in the Brazilian AUV Market

June 16, 2013

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C&C entered the Brazilian market with its autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) almost ten years ago. The company has had a steady growth in the country and now provides services that involve measurement of water properties, seabed topography, and seabed soil characterization. C&C uses their own vessels as platforms to launch their AUVs, covering the depth range from ultra shallow all the way to ultra deep 4500 meters and their clients use the data acquired by their AUVs to support their underwater infrastructure construction plans. In Brazil the company has enlarged its scope of services on demand by clients after the success of their seafloor mapping technology using side scan sonars mounted on AUVs C&C is also undertaking extensive work in oceanography and environmental monitoring.

Small Dolphins in Risk of Extinction in Rio

June 16, 2013

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The “Toninha” as small dolphins of the Pontoporia Species are called in Brazil are part of the Group denominated Odontocetos Cetacean. It is one of the smallest existing species of dolphins. Its coloration varies from pale gray to light yellow with its lower part being lighter. Their face is visibly elongated and it has more than 200 teeth. Their eyes are small and so is their dorsal fin, when compared to other species of dolphins. Its dorsal fin is also rounded at the extremities. The full name of the species is Pontoporia blainvillei. Today there are only 2,000 toninhas left off the coast of the states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo. This number represents less than half of the minimum population number considered safe. The safe population number is around 5,500 individuals.

DOF Launches Largest AHT Ever Built in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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Last Month the DOF Group named on the largest anchor handling tug vessel (AHT) ever built in Brazil, the Skandi Iguaçu. The vessel has over 32,000 BHP installed and bollard pull of more than 300 tons. Having been built at the STX OSV shipyard accros the bridge from the city of Rio de Janeiro, in Niteroi, the vessel will be ready for delivery to Petrobras three to five months in advance of contract requirement. Skandi Iguacu was ordered from STX OSV shipyard, with financing from the Brazilian Merchant Marine Fund through the BNDES (Brazilian Development Bank). The Skandi Iguaçu is part of a new generation of high powered anchor handling vessels, designed for operations across a wide range of deepwater depths and environmental conditions.

ROV Demand Still Increasing in Brazil

June 16, 2013

With a number of new O&G discoveries popping up nearly continuously in Brazil, both in shallow and deepwater, there has been a significant increase in ROV demand by operators, not only the major players but by all players involved on the Brazilian oil boom. In general the delivery of a complete ROV system may take around nine months, this includes the delivery of key equipment such as heavy duty winches, power and control umbilicals, flotation foam blocks, control modules, tooling kits and backup equipment. Here in Brazil, ROV manufacturers, which are basically all foreign companies with local offices, have been increasing their local stocks of ROV systems.

New Research Ship to Identify how Brazilian Forests and Seas Affect World Climate

June 16, 2013

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The Alpha Crusis is a 64 meter (213feet)  long and 11 meter (36 feet) wide research ship, capable of carrying up to 20 passengers, weighing 972 tons and with a 40 day sailing autonomy. The research ship was bought by Fapesp (Foundation for the Support of Research of the State of São Paulo) from the University of Hawaii for use by the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo. The ships total cost including renovations ran at $11 million. When it belonged to the U of H, the ship was called the Moana Wave and was being run by NOAA until it was acquired by Brazilian Fapesp, after which it went through 10 months of renovations and refurbishing in a Seattle shipyard.

U.S.-to-Brazil submarine cable to be laid

June 16, 2013

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In an importand development for Brazilian high-speed communications with the United States, U.S. based Seaborn Networks service provider is primed to lay a new system of submarine cummunications cable that will provide a direct route between the Unites States and Brazil. Set to go active in 2014, the new Seabras-1 submarine cable will offer 32 Tbps of capacity connecting Miami and Sao Paulo, with a branch that lands in Fortaleza, Brazil. The service provider's timing couldn't be better as the Brazilian government prepares to adopt a National Broadband Plan and the country is also preparing to host upcoming 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, which will drive greater growth of voice, video and data services throughout Brazil. The major increase of U.S.

Identifying Oil Spill Origins

June 16, 2013

An interesting article by the leading Brazilian newspaper O Globo, signed by Journalist Marcio Beck, brings to light the need to urgently create a database with information on the “DNA” of oil produced in Brazilian fields. According to researchers from the Academia and from the O&G industry, this is essential in order to speed up the identification of those responsible for any given oil spill. According to the article, the basic characteristics found in the formation of an oil reservoir, such as types of stones, sediments and organic matter along with time, temperature and pressure conditions, which give a distinct DNA to each different oil reservoir. Therefore, it would be possible to identify from which field any given oil sample originated from.

Major New O&G Pipelines Raising Environmental Concerns

June 16, 2013

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Recently Petrobras, the Brazilian national O&G operator announced that it had awarded Technip a 5-year frame agreement contract for the supply of around 1,400 kilometers of flexible pipes, with supply starting in 2013 and orders are guaranteed for at least 50% of the total value, which is currently estimated to be worth around US$2.1 billion. Flexible pipes for the contract will be produced both at Technip's existing manufacturing site in Vitoria, and also at our new manufacturing facility under construction in Açu, Brazil. This agreement is a direct spinoff of the investment Technip made last year in building a second state-of-the-art flexible pipe plant in Brazil…

RRC Robotics buys 2 ROVs from Schilling Robotics

June 16, 2013

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The Brazilian ROV pilot training company RRC Robotica Submarina, has recently acquired two work class ROVs from majorn U.S. ROV manufacturer Schilling Robotics. RRC Robotics also offers specialized services such as; Consulting and Auditing ROV systems; 3D modeling of subsea operations; Subsea engineering; ROV operations and rental, sales and maintenance of ROVs and tools from its base in the City of Macaé, located northeast of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Macaé is also the main hub for all offshore O&G companies and service providers in Brazil. Schilling Robotics was founded in 1985. Schilling is headquartered in California U.S.A. and has regional offices in Texas U.S.A., Aberdeen, Scotland, and Singapore. Schilling Robotics also operates a service and support station in Brazil.

Giant Ocean Whirlpools off South Americas Atlantic Coast

June 16, 2013

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Two scientists, William Jones and Guilherme Castellane discovered two giant whirlpools in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Guyana and Suriname. No can really explain exactly how these whirlpools were formed even though the area in question had previously been comprehensively mapped. The two funnels are approximately 400 kilometers in diameter. Until now whirlpools of this size were not known on Earth. The funnels may exert a strong influence on climate changes that have been registered during the recent years. “Funnels rotate clockwise. They are moving in the ocean like giant frisbees, two discs thrown into the air. Rotation occurs at a rate of one meter per second…

Shallow Water Pre-salt Discovery to Spark More Driiling

June 18, 2013

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The recente Discovery of a shallow water pre-salt reservoir by Brazilian private operator OGX has definitely raised a few eye brows. This novelty is a first in Brazil as up to now all other pre-salt reservoirs have been found in ultradeep waters off the Brazilian coast and usually very far from the coast. This new discovery which is located in BM-S-57 Block, in the Santos Basin and is less than half the distance from the mainland as other pre-salt finds in the Santos Basin, exactly 102 km from the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The wellhead is only 155 meters deep and the well was drilled down to 6,135 meters, which is the normal depth where pre-salt reservoirs are expected to be found.

Subsea Mountains in the South Atlantic-Brazilian Expedition uncovers striking biodiversity at the Rio Grande rise

June 16, 2013

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The Rio Grande rise is located around 1,000 km from the Brazilian coast off the southern state of Rio Grande. This submerged mountain chain has its highest point located 580 meters below the surface of the ocean in a region where the mean depth is around 4,000 meters. The Rio Grande rise is the size of the Brazilian state of Bahia and is packed with a wide variety of marine life, many of which are unknown to scientists. During the expedition researchers noticed that there was a greater number of whales and seabirds close to the rise than in other offshore areas. The project´s official name is Mar-eco Atlântico Sul, and can be considered as a sea life census.

Frade Spill a Wakeup Call for Deepwater O&G Exploration off Brazil

June 16, 2013

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The seabed oil spill that is still ongoing next to the Frade oil field in the Campos Basin is again raising the local awareness to the inherent dangers associated with O&G exploration. As many politicians and environmentalists hit the panic button, this kind of spill is, if not expected, is a definite possibility. There is simply no failsafe way to drill for oil and when the actual drilling is done underwater the risks compounded and the time it takes to resolve the issue is also increased. As this particular spill is a deep water event 1,200 meters deep it may not be so easy to stop and Chevron, the well operator has already taken steps to shut down the well permanently, this may also point to a loss of well control and a possible blowout.
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