Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - environment

Abrolhos Islands - Reefs, Humpback Whales and Oil

December 7, 2013

Mapa Abrolhos
Portuguese explorers were the first to arrive at the Abrolhos National Marine Park., having named the islands and sailed along the Caravelas Rivers since 1503. The name Abrolhos is short for open your eyes in Portuguese, and is an indication of the dangers to navigation in the area, which has numerous reef and rock formations just shy of the surface of the sea or even awash, and is dotted with shipwrecks. In 1987, a small remnant humpback whale population was discovered during the Marine Park’s implementation and thus Abrolhos was suggested as the species’ main “nursery” ground on the Western South Atlantic. The Humpback Whale Project was then created to promote research and protection for these mammals in Brazil.

Abrolhos Islands - Reefs, Humpback Whales and Oil

December 7, 2013

Portuguese explorers were the first to arrive at the Abrolhos National Marine Park., having named the islands and sailed along the Caravelas Rivers since 1503. The name Abrolhos is short for open your eyes in Portuguese, and is an indication of the dangers to navigation in the area, which has numerous reef and rock formations just shy of the surface of the sea or even awash, and is dotted with shipwrecks. In 1987, a small remnant humpback whale population was discovered during the Marine Park’s implementation and thus Abrolhos was suggested as the species’ main “nursery” ground on the Western South Atlantic. The Humpback Whale Project was then created to promote research and protection for these mammals in Brazil.

Environmental Consequences of the Suape Port Complex

October 21, 2013

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Considered by some to be the best Port in Brazil, the Suape Port and Industrial Complex has become infamous with environmentalists due to the fact that researchers has singled it out as the primary cause of shark attacks along the beaches fronting the city of Recife, due to the destruction of mangroves and reef for the construction of the port. Situated between the cities of Ipojuca and Cabo de Santo Agostinho, in the state of Pernambuco in the Brazilian Northeast, it has an area of 140 square kilometers and 13.5 thousand hectares in extension divided into Port, Industrial, Administrative, Ecological Preservation and Cultural Preservation zones.

Ship-borne Invasive Species

June 15, 2013

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Scientists have developed the first global model that analyses the routes taken by marine invasive species. The researchers examined the movements of cargo ships around the world to identify the hot spots where these aquatic aliens might thrive. Marine species are taken in with ballast water on freighters and wreak havoc in new locations, potentially driving native species to extinction. The research was published in the Journal Ecology Letters. As Brazil is experiencing a great increase in shipping, mostly due to the ongoing O&G boom spearheaded by huge deepwater pre-salt reservoirs recently being uncorked, this study can be considered of particular importance for Brazilian environmental agencies such as IBAMA…

O&G Exploration to Increase in Brazil

June 15, 2013

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Brazil has been investing in a major effort to increase its exploratory O&G campaign along the countries coast and also inland where major gas reservoirs have been recently located. Unfortunately, this is still not enough as presently Brazil is exploring only 4% of its areas with O&G potential. Of the 7,5 million square kilometers of sedimentary basins located in the country, only 7% have actually been researched, including all the recent major pre-salt discoveries. This points to major untapped O&G potential in the country, the numbers are impressive and point to a need to increase even more the research and exploration of the huge areas still untouched. This further increase in exploration brings various safety and environmental risks along with it.

New Pre-salt Port Worries Environmentalists

June 16, 2013

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The Ponta Negra Terminal (TPN) to be built at the south side of Jaconé Beach at Ponta Negra Point is to be one of the biggest ports in the country. DTA Engineering, responsible for the project, unofficially called the Pre-salt port and with an investment forecast of $5,4 billion in an area of 557,2 thousand square meters, is expected to link oil & gas pipelines from the Pre-salt plays to the Petrochemical complex of the state of Rio de Janeiro (Comperj), which is located in the nearby city of Itaborai. The project includes a port, a ship and rig maintenance shipyard and a refinery. Authorities consider the location ideal due to the fact that the point has a natural depth of 30 meters.

Laje Viva Institute - Divers take a stand

June 16, 2013

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The Laje Viva Institute was born from the indignation of a group of divers towards illegal fishing that, unfortunately, is a reality in the Laje de Santos Marine State Park. Divers spotted fishing vessels at the park and became indignant and irate with this practice, leading them to take action. From this point on, a few divers decided to meet and start to take action having a clear objective: "Protect Laje de Santos from fishing and hunting". On July 1st, 1993, these divers founded the Laje Viva Institute, a non-profit organization with the objective of implementing actions to guarantee the preservation and protection of the Laje de Santos Marine State Park (PEMLS).

The Abrolhos Islands O&G Reality

June 16, 2013

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Abrolhos is short for open your eyes in Portuguese, an expression meaning beware, often used by Portuguese navigators when naming islands flanked by dangerous reefs. There is even a group of islands going by the same name along the west coast of OZ. Not only do these two places (In Brazil and Australia) have a name in common but both are also pristine islands officially protected as ecological preserves by the countries they belong to. Both are also flanked by major Oil & Gas E&P areas. The Brazilian Abrolhos is a whale haven and contains a wonderful yet fragile flora and fauna ecosystem, both on land and underwater. The place is thought to be one of the world´s coral matrixes…

Habitats Project - Campos Basin Environmental Studies

June 16, 2013

Since 2007, Petrobras, along with national research institutes and industry suppliers, has been busy researching physical, chemical, geological, biological and socio-economic characteristics of the Campos Basin, a region that starts at the north end of the State of Rio de Janeiro all the way to the south of the State of Espirito Santo, encompassing an area of some 100 thousand square kilometers. The project has two main parts, one about fisheries and its socio-economic impact and the other about environmental issues, which is called the Habitat Project. The information is being transformed into a database, which will be used to support decision making concerning environmental issues, environmental management and will also be edited as a scientific publication.

Petrobras Betting on Partnerships to Develop Deepwater Equipment and Solutions

June 16, 2013

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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.

Rising Environmental Concerns greet the Woods Hole Group in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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.

New National O&G Safety Program for Brazil

September 27, 2010

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A new partnership between ANP (National Petroleum Agency), Ibama (National Environmental Agency) and the Brazilian Navy, plans to upgrade and expand existing E&P safety measures, in order to prevent major oil spills in Brazil. According to Haroldo Lima, Director of ANP, presently Petrobras elaborates the contingency programs for each platform, but now the Brazilian government will launch a nationwide contingency plan led by the navy and involving the regulatory agency and the environmental agency. Although Lima emphasizes that the current safety systems and regulatory systems in place on offshore platforms in Brazil are among the most advanced in the world, he admits there will certainly be upgrades due to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy at the GOM.