More Investments Needed Form Offshore Inspections in Brazil
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
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.
Wave Energy Research in Brazil Taking Off
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
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…
DOF Launches Largest AHT Ever Built in Brazil
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
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.
U.S.-to-Brazil submarine cable to be laid
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
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
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
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.
Frade Spill a Wakeup Call for Deepwater O&G Exploration off Brazil
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.