VetcoGray´s Metal-to-Metal Sealing Technology
The increase in exploratory O&G programs around the world and specifically the deepwater exploration programs being undertaken at the GOM, in West Africa and Brazil has caused major improvements and new technologies and materials to be employed in subsea equipment, such as BOPs, wellhead systems, risers, manifolds, flowlines, drilling fluids among others. GE´s VetcoGray has developed an interesting seal technology for its subsea wellheads. Named MS seal, it is based on Metal-to-metal sealing technology. All VetcoGray subsea wellheads use metal-to-metal sealing technology, which is superior to elastomer options because it prevents inevitable heat and corrosive fluids from damaging seal integrity. Both the wellhead and hanger have a sealing area of parallel wickers.
Petrobras Betting on Partnerships to Develop Deepwater Equipment and Solutions
Due to the extreme demands placed on subsea equipment used in the pre-salt E&P Petrobras has been forming various partnerships with local and foreign companies to develop specially designed equipment to tackle the hazards of deepwater pre-salt development. One of the newest partnerships implemented by Petrobras, was for a feasibility study on Flexible pipes for practical oil production in pre-salt area with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC). JOGMEC and PETROBRAS have a long history of research and development partnerships which started back in 2005, for collaboration on mutual benefit O&G exploration and production activities, HSE related matters, and R&D activities of the O&G sector.
Major Deepwater Contract with Petrobras Spotlights Subsea 7´s Enhanced Capabilities
The $1 billion contract awarded to Subsea 7 by Brazilian national oil company Petrobras, marks a new era in Subsea 7´s history. It is the first major (in terms of contract value) contract for the company after its merger with Acergy. The contract is for development of the Guara and Lula deepwater pre-salt fields in the Santos Basin, over 300km from the coast of Rio de Janeiro, in water depth of around 2,200 meters. These plays are located in Block BM-S-9 and BM-S-11 respectively. The EPIC (Engineering, Procurement, Installation and Pre-Commisioning) project scope consists of 4 decoupled riser systems featuring, four submerged buoys each of 1…
Synthetic DYNEEMA Ropes for Deepwater MODU
With the increase in deepwater O&G exploration, the demand placed on mooring ropes for MODUs (Mobile Operating Drilling Units) has increased dramatically. Rope manufacturers have been developing products based on new materials and also adapting their manufacturing processes to accommodate new materials and more stringent requirements. In some deepwater plays mooring ropes will be going down to 2,000 or even 3,000 meters, which places massive stress on the ropes, due not only to its length and weight but also due to the action of subsea currents, ship movement caused by surface waves, currents and wind. Dutch rope manufacturer Lankhorst Ropes…
Hydroid´s Remus 6000
The Remus 6000 AUV was designed and developed by a partnership between the Naval Oceanographic Office, the Office of Naval Research and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). The Hydroid Inc, is young company, which was founded in 2001 by the inventors of REMUS to commercialize their product and to allow this ultra-deepwater AUV technology to reach a wider market and to guarantee funding for continuous product development. The REMUS AUV is the product of over 15 years of leading edge research and development. The REMUS 6000 is the deepwater version of the acclaimed Remus 100, lightweight, shallow water AUV and the Remus 600 deep water AUV.
Ultra-Deepwater AUVs and ROVs show their value by finding AF 447s Fuselage
If the earlier searches for the debris had made a more intensive use of ultra-deepwater AUVs, finding the sunken fuselage, the black boxes and voice recorders may have taken considerably less than two years. However we must also consider that the total estimated search area was huge. The first idea of using submarines, just wasn´t enough with the extreme depth involved (3,900 meters). France had announced last February that it would begin the 4 phase of its search for the AF 447 debris, somewhere over 700 km from the north coast of Brazil, beyond the remote islands of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, a notorious shipwreck location. The new effort aimed to find the downed Airbus A330-200, which crashed on May 31 2009, killing all 228 passenger and crew members as it flew from Rio to Paris.
Rising Environmental Concerns greet the Woods Hole Group in Brazil
The Woods Hole Group (WHG), headquartered in East Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, recently announced the launching of its first office in Brazil over increasing concerns about possible environmental problems which may be triggered by the continued increase in O&G exploration in Brazil. There are no local environmental organizations in Brazil that can match the experience, expertise and credibility of the WHG in terms of providing comprehensive solutions to challenges and consequences of environmental problems. Although Brazil´s official environmental impact agency “IBAMA” is undoubtedly experienced and even efficient in its environmental impact monitoring, it is still a government agency and therefore it can hardly be considered completely independent.
Deepwater Umbilical Challenges in Brazil and Worldwide
In the past all umbilicals were made of thermoplastics, used mainly for transport of hydraulic fluids to open or close valves, with separate hoses connecting to each valve on a subsea tree. As the deepwater production increased, concerns over possible failures on thermoplastic umbilicals mounted, triggering the development of the steel tube umbilical. Efficiency and reliability are the keys for deepwater umbilicals. The modern subsea umbilical used by the O&G industry provides transmission of electric and fiber optic signals, electrical power, hydraulic fluids, and injection of chemical fluids from the surface to the seabed through electric and/or fiber optic cables encased in thermoplastic and/or steel tubes.
Subsea Processing System to go Online this year in Brazil
The Marlim Field in the Campos Basin is the host for the world´s first operational system for deepwater subsea separation of heavy oil and water including the vital water reinjection to boost production in this mature Brazilian oil field and may be a key factor in expanding the production life of other mature fields in Brazil. Marlim is located in the north-eastern part of the Campos Basin, about 110km offshore of Rio de Janeiro, in water depths ranging from 650m to 2,600m (2,100 to 8,500ft). It has some 102 production wells, 50 injection well and 8 floating production units (FPU), devoted to the extraction of O&G. Marlim as a mature field approaching 20 years in operation…
ECA Hytec Subsea Systems in Brazil
The French subsea systems manufacturer has been introducing its range of subsea products in Brazil, including the AUV Alistar 3000 and ROV systems. Since 1981 ECA Hytec has been specializing in the design and manufacture of remote controlled systems for intervention in "hostile" environments. This activities include four main sectors: Subsea (offshore oil & gas, defence, oceanography), Nuclear, Pipes and sewers, boreholes and large bore pipe works (main ducts, galleries...), Environment with Explosive risks. They supply a wide range of o products such as remote controlled vehicles, video systems, robotics systems and remote controlled tools. Some of those are also available for rental.
Chinese Eyeing Increased Involvement in Brazilian O&G and Shipbuilding
Chinese companies such as Sinopec, Sinochem, CNOOC, CSSC are actively pursuing partnerships worldwide, in Brazil this effort is particularly noticeable through recent partnerships with O&G players such as Petrobras, Statoil and Repsol.In the shipbuilding business news of some form of partnership between CSSC and local builders is expected for the near future as the local shipbuilding capabilities expand. In the O&G industry, Sinopec just recently announced its partnership agreement with Spanish operator Repsol. The agreement represented a capital increase of around 7 billion for Repsol Brasil, increasing Repsol Brasil´s total capital to around 17.8 billion. With this agreement 60% of Repsol Brasil still belongs to Repsol, while 40% now belongs to Sinopec.
Carbon Fiber for Deepwater Umbilicals
The umbilicals in the oil and gas industry are the lifelines of deepwater O&G fields, connecting wells to the offshore platform. The use of carbon fiber rods to replace some of the steel sheathing is an interesting development for use in deepwater umbilicals.Since the 1990s, subsea production systems have become increasingly important, specifically for deepwater plays. Some wells or well systems are located as far as 100 km from the production rig and may be up to 3,000 meters deep. As a result, umbilicals composed of steel tube conduit, thermoplastic hose, or a combination of the both, are critical for power, control, communication, and fluid injection to keep deepwater wells working efficiently and producing continuously.
New Deepwater Discoveries in Brazil
Petrobras, Brazil´s National operator hás recently disclosed new local and international O&G discoveries. The discoveries in Brazil are all in deepwater. In the Espírito Santo Basin the hydrocarbon accumulations were found in the Cretaceous reservoirs of a well known as Brigadeiro, down at 1,900 meters and located within the BM-ES-23 concession area in Block ES-M-525, 115 km off the coast of the State of Espírito Santo in southeast Brazil. This new deepwaterdiscovery at the very promising Espirito Santo Basin, was confirmed through wireline logging and fluid sampling, in t reservoirs located at around 4,200 meters.Petrobras is the operator of block BM-ES-23 (65%), which is also composed of Shell Brasil Petróleo (20%) and Inpex Petróleo Santos (15%).
Rig Module Hub in Bahia
The Brazilian northeast state of Bahia will house various construction yards and shipyards dedicated to rig module construction, such as jackets and floats.Accompanying the growth in ship construction in the Brazilian northeast states, the tropical state of Bahia is showing a marked increase in shipbuilding investments. Along the “Baía de Todos os Santos” or Bay of All Saints, various yards are being built to compete for rig module orders. The major client will undoubtedly be Petrobras, but there are expectations that as the yards increase their efficiency, other national and foreign O&G players operating in the Brazilian offshore will also become interested in placing orders to these new yards.
Brazilian Subsea Equipment Market Views
With an eye on the lucrative subsea equipment market, suppliers are investing in technology, local workforce and expanding local facilities. New Brazilian companies specialized in subsea equipment and services also strive to compete with foreign suppliers.Today Petrobras is one of the greatest if not the greatest subsea equipment buyer in the world. With the ongoing discoveries of new deepwater and ultra-deepwater O&G plays in Brazil´s offshore, there is a sustained demand for essential subsea systems such as BOPs, Christmas trees, subsea manifolds, risers, rigid and flexible flowlines, umbilicals, subsea control and monitoring systems, ROV´s, AUS´s and all manner of subsea support systems.