Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - exploration

Brazil Exploration Review 2013

January 4, 2014

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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.

Franco Pre-Salt – New Monster Play in Brazil

October 14, 2013

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The Franco pre-salt field, which is located southwest of the massive Libra field that will be auctioned in October 21st, originally had been forecast to contain 3 billion barrels boe of recoverable light oil. In light of new studies, the Franco pre-salt field is now believed to contain recoverable oil volumes equal to or superior to the Libra pre-salt field, something hovering around 10 billion barrels boe. This is excellent news for Petrobras, which is in the process of making major exploratory, production and infrastructure investments and desperately needs new capital. The reason it being excellent news has nothing to do with oil auction…

North Brazil Oil – Deepwater Oil off the State of Pará

August 12, 2013

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Brazil’s Equatorial Margin, which is the country's coastline facing north, has recently had offshore exploration blocks acquired by a number of players during the 11 bidding round in early 2013. One of the states with a coastline on the Equatorial Margin, the state of Pará already has proven reserves established by Petrobras, which has been drilling there since the beginning of the year. More recently it has been established that these reserves are economically viable to be explored commercially. Rumors had it that Petrobras was satisfied by the way the exploration effort was developing. The Harpia exploration well, which began drilling in January 2013 in water depths of 2…

Angola Pre-salt Development

July 31, 2013

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Few people acknowledge this but the exploratory campaign that led to the 2006 discovery by Petrobras of the Tupi (renamed Lula) field, at the Santos Basin in Brazil was partially triggered by early pre-salt finds in West Africa and the knowledge that the petroleum systems on both sides of the South Atlantic were similar. With the experience gained from drilling Lula and other subsequent pre-salt discoveries in Brazil, interest returned to the pre-salt in Angola’s conjugate Kwanza-Benguela and Namibe Basins. The common origin of the reservoirs and similar tectonics increased the belief that similar plays should exist in Angola. The Santos Basins is a major hydrocarbon basin along Brazil’s Atlantic coast.

Portuguese Investment in Brazil’s Pre-Salt

July 29, 2013

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Galp Energy, which is Portugal’s major O&G operator, is aiming at increasing its investments in Brazil through acquisition of new block during Petrobras’ pre-salt bidding round next October. Galp is already considered a preferred partner by Petrobras as can be seen by the fact that Galp currently partners Petrobras in four deepwater pre-salt blocks in the Santos Basin, with the biggest blocks being Lula and Cerambi, both large pre-salt plays, which are producing. Earlier this year Galp again partnered Petrobras in acquiring nine blocks in the Parnaíba, Potiguar and Barreirinhas Basin, during the 11th bidding round which mainly encompassed block along Brazil’s Northeast Coast and Equatorial Margin.

Libra Pre-salt Development

July 20, 2013

As the time for the first pre-salt bidding round approaches, solid data begins to appear related to production forecasts and assets needed for the field’s development. Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) has confirmed that the first pre-salt bidding round will take place in October 2013 in Rio de Janeiro and the rules concerning it have already drawn criticism from potential operators. ANP maintains that these rules will not be changed and has come forth with information concerning the field’s development. According to thr ANP, Libra is expected to produce first oil in 2018, that is, 5 years after the winning consortium signs the E&P contract for Libra. This contract will be signed by November 2013.

Brazil’s O&G Market - mid 2013 Review

June 18, 2013

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Brazil is the largest country in South America and its oil and natural gas markets have expanded massively in recent years, causing the resurrection of its shipbuilding industry as a bonus. The challenging deepwater development projects have high priority in investments both is subsea technology for deepwater field development and onshore and offshore logistics infrastructure. In recent years Brazil has experienced rapid growth in the petroleum sector. O&G production went from 1.5 million barrels per day in 2001 to 2.4 million b/d in 2010. Offshore production accounted for almost 90% of this figure in 2010. Yet there have also been large onshore natural gas discoveries…

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.

Treasures of the Deep – Mineral Exploration Under the Seabed

August 4, 2012

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Located hundreds and even thousands of meters deep, vast deposits of precious metals and other marketable minerals are closer to being explored. Advances in marine geology, hundreds of deposits containing gold, silver, cobalt, lead and zinc, valued at trillions of dollars, have already been identified under the seabed, usually around fumaroles (hot gas fountains of volcanic origin). These are spread out along more than 73 thousand kilometers of underwater fissures on the earth´s crust. This interest has already come to the attention of environmentalists and environmental organizations as these locations are usually populated by unique species that live along the borders of the fumaroles, due to the heads and chemical elements that emanate from these underwater chimneys.

MiniROVs – Deep Trekker

June 16, 2013

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As work class ROVs used in the O&G industry and S&R missions reach new peaks in demand, small inspection class ROVs, better known as mini or micro ROVS are also becoming accessible to the general public. These light weight ROVs come in various shapes and sizes, although most models are limited to shallow water depths, there are exceptions and the probability is high that in the near future these MiniROVs will be capable of reaching deeper waters. Based in southern Ontario, Canada, Deep Trekker Inc. is specialized in the design and manufacture affordable subsea exploration tools, targeting the growing world consumer market for U/W exploration tools.

VetcoGray´s Metal-to-Metal Sealing Technology

June 16, 2013

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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.

OGX Keeps Up its Drilling Effort in 2011

June 16, 2013

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After a nearly perfect drilling campaign on various fronts in 2010, OGX start 2011 with new discoveries in the Campos Basin. Although there was much skepticism at the start of OGX´s creation in 2007, after last year´s performance, the new Brazilian operator, which was created by Brazilian businessman and investor Eike Batista adding to the portfolio of his EBX Group can now easily be considered as a good investment, especially for those who bought in early. Eike´s strategy to hire and partner with Petrobras´s extraordinary geologist and executive Paulo Mendonça was vital not only to gain market value as to bring in deep knowledge of where do drill and how to plan the E&P campaign. It´s important to not that Petrobras´s exploratory success rate more than doubled after Mr.

New O&G Provinces in Brazil

October 27, 2010

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The exploratory campaigns by Petrobras and other players continue uncovering new O&G provinces in Brazil.The latest discovery is in the Brazilian northeast region, in the ultra deep Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, where Petrobras identified the presence of hydrocarbons similar to those bearing oil in deep Campos Basin waters. Data analysis confirms the existence of large accumulations in this sector of the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, implying that there are greater volumes than those found in the shallow water fields such as Guaricema and Dourado. The seismic profile data points to the presence of large volumes of light hydrocarbons. This well, called 1-BRSA-851-SES (1-SES-158)…

New Players in the Brazilian O&G Market

September 27, 2010

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With the expected growth of the Brazilian O&G market and high potential for new discoveries, new national and international O&G operators are preparing for or already undertaking exploratory campaigns. We will be taking a look at these new operators and also at how the established players are going about E&P in Brazil.The first new player we will be looking at is HRT Oil & Gas, which is a new national operator, founded in 2009. HRT O&G is a company belonging to the HRT Participation Group, an O&G market consultancy company founded by a prominent geologist Marcio Rocha Mello PhD, who worked for Petrobras for 25 years. HRT`s initial targets are the Brazilian and West African sedimentary basins.

Brazilian Pre-Salt Frontiers to Expand

July 22, 2010

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According to major Brazilian O&G market sources, the official Brazilian pre-salt area boundaries will have to be expanded due to various pre-salt discoveries beyond presently acknowledged frontiers.Companies such as Petrobras, Repsol, Anadarko and Shell have made important pre-salt discoveries away from the Picanha Azul area where the Tupi field is located and where all the blocks drilled presented commercial hydrocarbon accumulations. Repsol is making history in Brazil with block ES-T-737, where they are drilling to a goal depth of 7,500m (24,606ft). Repsol is hedging on finding oil under the salt layer in an area beyond officially recognized pre-salt boundaries.

The OGX Exploratory Campaign Maintains Its High Success Rate

March 16, 2010

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OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações S.A., the largest Brazilian private sector oil and gas company in terms of offshore exploratory acreage, announced today that it has completed the drilling of well 1-OGX-5-RJS, located in block BM-C-43, in the shallow waters of the southern part of the Campos Basin. OGX holds a 100% working interest in this block. The well OGX-5 was drilled to a depth of 4,100 meters, resulting in the detection of hydrocarbons in carbonate reservoirs in the Albian and Aptian sections. Cable tests performed after the conclusion of drilling also identified an oil-bearing column in the Maastrichtian section, from which oil samples were collected.

Petrobras Research Center´s PROCAP 3000 Program

February 23, 2010

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PROCAP 3000: next ultra-deepwater exploration frontier.Over the past 23 years, Petrobras, forerunner in the use of the floating production concept, has always emphasized innovation and upgrade based on its professional expertise. The first PROCAP – Technological Development Program for Deepwater Production Systems was launched in 1986 in order to improve the company’s technical skills in oil and natural gas production in water until 1,000m. To do so, Albacora and Marlin fields were chosen as a development unit. The results obtained in this first program and the other discoveries in deeper water encouraged the company to create a new program in 1993, PROCAP-2000 - Technological Development Program for Deepwater Exploration Systems.

OGX On A Roll In The Southern Campos Basin

September 27, 2010

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With 8 exploratory wells producing hydrocarbon discoveries during the year and with estimates of recoverable oil of around 5 billion barrels, OGX ends 2009 on a very positive high.OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações S.A., announced two days ago that it had completed the drilling of well 1-OGX-2A-RJS, located in the BM-C-41 block, in the shallow waters of the southern part of the Campos Basin. OGX holds a 100% working interest in this block. The well was drilled to a depth of approximately 3,550 meters, resulting in the finding of hydrocarbons in five different reservoirs: Eocene, Upper Cretaceous, Albian, Aptian and Barremian. Once the drilling of the well was concluded…