Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - offshore

Offshore Microwave Communications

February 2, 2015

Offshore Microwave Communications
Offshore communication requirements have greatly increased in the last decade, with the market focusing on bandwidth and availability. Ceragon Networks (formerly Nera Networks) was a key player when Norway’s oil boom started in the early 1970. The first system delivered was VSAT systems, followed a few years later by the first LOS microwave systems. With today’s change to IO (Integrated Operations) throughout the business, Ceragon has adapted to this with new, advanced, ATEX certificated radios and stabilized antennas. IO has now pushed the bandwidth requirement beyond what is possible and economically justifiable with VSAT systems. Today there are minimum requirement of 32Mb/s to most drill rigs and +100Mb/s on larger production rigs.

Atmocean and The Potential of Wave Energy – Part 2

December 13, 2014

Atmocean’s wave energy system is unique in that each array of fifteen seawater pumps located up to 2 miles offshore produces pressurized water transmitted in a seafloor hose to the onshore turbine operating a generator. By using and underwater compressed air energy storage system a dramatic reductions in the net cost and availability of grid-scale energy storage is reached. Storing air at hydrostatic pressure, in equilibrium with the surrounding water allows the use of thin-walled storage vessels, and simpler, more reliable compressors. A simple, proprietary reversible air compressor runs at near-constant temperature and the heat of compression is stored in water and is restored during expansion of the air.

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.

Atmocean and The Potential of Wave Energy - Part 1

December 11, 2014

cropped atmocean header
Water covers 71% of our world and holds a vast potential for clean renewable energy production. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers estimated in a 2010 report of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, that there is an estimated potential of 3.7 terawatts of wave energy, almost double that of current world electrical consumption, yet although it may never be possible to harvest all this energy, very little of it has been harvested up to now. Waves are mainly created by winds blowing across the oceans. Waves are distinct from daily tidal surges created by the gravitational effects of the moon as the earth spins on its axis.

Clariant’s H2S Management and Sequestration Tech for the Pre-salt

December 6, 2014

Clariant, a global provider of specialty chemicals and solutions for the oil and gas industry, is has been applying its H2S Risk Management System in selected pre-salt plays offshore Brazil. The novel system encompasses the provision and management of specialty chemicals for both subsea activities (liquid H2S scavengers injected into wells) and offshore topside natural gas processing (removal of hydrogen sulfide residues using a solid adsorbent), including the entire onshore and offshore product delivery logistics and managing the removal and disposal of residues generated during the process. The system was developed by Clariant’s research centers in Brazil: the Deepwater Center of Excellence…

Autonomous Surface Vehicle’s C-Worker USV

June 9, 2014

C Worker
The C-Worker is an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) designed for offshore services in the O&G industry. The multi-role offshore USV is designed to conduct subsea positioning, surveying and environmental monitoring without the need of a ship on station or seabed anchoring. Autonomous Surface Vehicles Ltd (ASV Ltd) is a UK company and part of Global Fusion, a privately owned international marine services group based in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. The small robust design incorporates an aluminum self-righting hull that makes the vehicle suitable for harsh ocean environments. At only 5.85 meters in length, a beam of 2.2 meters and a height of 4.75 meter with its mast extended, this USV is a much cheaper and compact option for some offshore jobs that today are done by much larger vessels.

Compact Subsea Survey Tools - Meridian Ocean Services

March 19, 2014

As government agencies, research institutions, academia, and a range of industries look for new light-weight and low-cost solutions for subsea survey and inspection tasks, it becomes clear that new companies are entering the market with the goal of providing these specific services. At the same time the industry that manufactures the tools for these tasks, such as ROV’s, AUV’s and sensors and visualization software are also bringing in compact and affordable, yet powerful, products. Using the latest technology applied to inshore and offshore areas, these companies may soon be competing with established brands and in some case they offer services that few companies in the world can offer, creating their own niche.

OTC Brasil 2013 – Opening Day Highlights

October 31, 2013

The Offshore Technology Conference Brasil 2013, was only the 2nd time the conference was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yet it was obvious that the conference had grown in size and scope. During the 3 days a long list of interesting and even some exiting Technical Sessions took place, addressing everything from Local Content to the latest in Deepwater Technology. After the Opening Session on Tuesday October 29th, which was presented by OTC and IBP (Brazilian Petroleum Institute) senior executives and the OTC Brasil Technical Program Chairman, the main event was the Topical Luncheon on Planning and Management of Offshore Oil Opportunities in Brazil: Petrobras Perspective, which had as its speaker Petrobras CEO Maria das Graças Foster.

North Brazil Oil – Deepwater Oil off the State of Pará

August 12, 2013

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…

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion – Renewable Energy from the Sea

June 19, 2013

aerial lookdown
According to OTEC International LLC (OTI), in 1870, Jules Verne introduced the concept of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) in his book, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Within a decade, American, French and Italian scientists are said to have been working on the concept but the Frenchman, physicist Jacques-Arsene d’Arsonval, is generally credited as the father of the concept for using ocean temperature differences to create power. “I owe it all to the ocean; it produces electricity, and electricity gives heat, light, motion, and, in a word, life to the Nautilus.” Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. D’Arsonval’s student, Georges Claude, built the first OTEC power plant in 1930 in Cuba, which produced 22 kilowatts of electricity.

The Process Behind GTL Conversion

June 19, 2013

cgtl smalll
Liquid hydrocarbon fuels can be produced from associated natural gas via a well-known catalytic chemical reaction called Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis. The FT synthesis is a collection of chemical reactions that converts a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons. It was first developed by Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch at the "Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Kohleforschung" in Mülhei an der Ruhr (Germany) in the 1920s. During World War II, FT synthesis provided the needed liquid hydrocarbon fuels for the German war effort. Later, facing isolation during the apartheid era, South Africa turned to FT synthesis from coal gasification to supply significant quantities of its hydrocarbon fuel needs.

Offshore GTL – Transforming Natural Associated Gas to Liquid

June 19, 2013

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As gas flaring becomes more unacceptable from political and environmental viewpoints, oilfields with no viable associated gas solution may be required to curtail production or in the extreme case, cease production entirely. There is evidence globally that this is starting to occur and proposals for new oilfield projects in remote or deepwater locations must increasingly demonstrate how the associated gas will be processed without continuous flaring. Gas re-injection sometimes offers a solution but this is expensive for deep wells and not desirable for all reservoir structures. Gas-to-liquids (GTL) processes enable monetization of remote natural gas or other gaseous hydrocarbons by converting them into sulfur-free synthetic crude oil that can be easily transported by tanker.

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.

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.

Petrobras set to announce winner of offshore LNG production unit tender

June 16, 2013

The group that will be awarded the construction contract for this novel offshore LNG production unit will be known by October 31 Petrobras is keen to begin construction of the unit as it considers offshore natural gas liquefaction vital to guarantee a efficient output for the Santos Basin pre-salt gas. Many of the Santos Basin pre-salt fields are located over 300km from the coast, which convinced Petrobras to seek other options in order to deliver the gas to the market. Normally gas is transferred from wells to the coast through underwater pipelines but with such distances involved and with many of thereservoirs located in deep water…

OSX looking at building drill rigs for Petrobras

June 16, 2013

With the work on its new shipyard underway, OSX, the shipbuilding and ship rental company belonging to the EBX Group, is planning on entering tenders in order to try and get a piece of the contracts for 21 drillers for Petrobras. The OSX shipyard is being built within the Açu Port area (the Açu Port is also in construction and is also owned by the same EBX Group). Sete Brasil is administering the construction of the 21 drillers, which will then be leased to Petrobras. Petrobras itself will oversee the tender process. Sete Brasil is one of the local companies participating in the tender and they have already been awarded the contract for construction of the seven first drillers, which are being built at the Atlantico Sul shipyard in the Brazilian northeast state of Pernambuco.

Rolls Royce Increasing Investments in Brazil

June 16, 2013

Relying on the expected growth of the O&G industry in Brazil and the influx of new rigs and FPSOs in the Brazilian offshore market, British manufacturer, Rolls Royse is set to make a $60 million investment in a new plant to build energy modules for offshore rigs. The plant will be located in Santa Cruz, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The manufacturing plant is slated to begin operations by the third quarter of 2012. Rolls Royse is also seriously considering another $60 million investment in Brazil in the next 2 or 3 years, in the O&G sector and in other sectors such as airplane turbines. The location in Santa Cruz was chosen because of its proximity to the company´s client base in Rio de Janeiro and also to its proximity to the Campos Basin…

Subsea Processing System to go Online this year in Brazil

June 16, 2013

Tordis render
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…

Uncertainties at ME, GOM and WA making Brazil more attractive to O&G investors

June 21, 2013

fierce fighting libya edges civil war
This is true for all areas of the O&G industry and definitely highlights the importance of Brazil´s pre-salt E&P. The recent unrest experienced in Bahrain in the Middle East, the ongoing civil war in Libya, rampant attacks on oilfields in Nigeria and uncertainties in other WA countries, added to the drilling moratorium at the GOM may have a substantial influence in O&G related investments being increasingly channeled to Brazil. One of the consequences of the international unrest that is influencing an increase in investments in the Brazilian pre-salt, is the increase in world oil prices, which is at around $113 a barrel of Brent, with the latest rise directly resulting from the clashes in Libya and unrest in other Middle East countries…

New O&G Operators in Brazil – Aurizonia Petróleo

November 6, 2010

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With the growth of the Brazilian O&G market, various small local operators has sprung up, truly coloring the oil market scene in the country and also attracting foreign investors looking at forming local partnerships.Aurizônia Petróleo was established in 2004 in Rio Grande do Norte, ain north Brazil and has two branches, in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and in Mossoró (RN). The company's objective is the exploration, production, importation and exportation of oil and natural gas. Since its inception, Aurizônia has been highly successful in building a balanced and successful E&P portfolio in mature land basins in Brazil. Among the areas in which Aurizônia operates…