Brazil Coastal Monitoring
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coast that is 7,491 km (4,655 mi) long. Offshore, numerous islands and archipelagos form part of Brazilian territory, such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Abrolhos, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz Islands. Yet Brazil has no Coast Guard, the coast being patrolled by the Brazilian Navy, which does not have a mandate to make arrests, but which does keep in check illegal fishing. Costal policing would theoretically be done by the Federal Police. However, the reality is that they do not have anything near enough assets to patrol such a large coast. In terms of environmental monitoring…
25th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
On March 24, 1989 the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil across 1,300 miles of coastline. The tankers grounding and subsequent oil spill lead to one of the most thorough examinations of the effects of oil on the environment. While the vast majority of the spill area now appears to have recovered, pockets of crude oil remain in some locations, and there is evidence that not all resources affected by the spill have recovered to the previous state. No one anticipated any unusual problems as the Exxon Valdez left the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal at 9:12 p.m., Alaska Standard Time, on March 23,1989.
Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials in the O&G industry
Nuvia is one of the leading provider of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) management services in the UK. According to the U.S. Geologists have recognized their presence since the early 1930s and use their presence as a method for finding petroleum systems. Much of the petroleum in the earth's crust was created at the site of ancients seas by the decay of sea life. As a result, petroleum deposits often occur in aquifers containing brine (salt water). Radionuclides, along with other minerals that are dissolved in the brine, precipitate (separate and settle) out forming various wastes at the surface, such as mineneral scales inside drilling and production pipe, sludges, contaminated equipment or components and produced waters.
Oil Rig Ballast Control System Accidents
Ballast control systems are a vital part of semi-submersible oil platforms. The ballast control system is made up of a network of pipes, valves, pumps, and tanks, which work as a liquid control system to keep the vessel at an even keel. Offshore drilling is an extremely risky undertaking, which is susceptible to accidents, which may cause human casualties and environmental disasters. One of the key systems necessary to keep oil rigs afloat, is the effective design of the user interface for the ballast control system, which significantly contributes to overall safety of a rig’s crew and the environment. The threat of disaster is the main reason to provide the operators with the most effective ballast control system possible. One such disaster occurred in 2001 aboard Petrobras’ P36 oil rig.
O&G reserves in the South China Sea: Tempers Flaring
Geopolitical location, an abundance of fish and huge O&G reservoirs make the South China Sea (SCS) particularly attractive to the countries that all lay claim to parts of it, such as China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. While the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) estimates the SCS holds around 125 billion barrels of oil and 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in uncorked reserves, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates the SCS contains only approximately 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in proven and probable reserves, although the EIA admits this figure could increase pending geological surveys of peripheral locations.
Brazil Launches Oil Spill Containment Plan
Finally, after much criticism from environmentalists, politicians and even from oil industry executives, the Brazilian government launches a comprehensive oil spill contingency plan. Ironically, the PNC (National Contingency Plan), is being launched one day after the giant Libra pre-salt field auction. It’s hard to understand why the PNC wasn’t announced before the Libra auction, especially if it was ready, as it must have been. The PNC plan, according to the biggest Brazilian newspaper O Globo, had been ready and shelved in a Brazilian State Department office for over one year. Interestingly, the plan was announced one day after this same newspaper alerted that the Libra field was going to be auctioned without any oil spill contingency plan ready.
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.
New Pre-salt Port Worries Environmentalists
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.
Franco Pre-Salt – New Monster Play in Brazil
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…
BP Capping Stack for Well Blowout Containment
Since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in 2010 the industry has taken long strides in well control and well blowout containment. British Petroleum, having been directly involved in the accident at the Macondo well, was forced to look into a solution that would permanently seal the gushing deepwater well. However, even before they could come up with a permanent solution, BP needed to cap the well over the damaged BOP (Blow-out Preventer). This eventually took BP a few months to accomplish, yet using a large amount of engineering ingenuity a capping stack was manufactured which got the job done. Since at the time there was no off-the-shelf solution to capture the spilling oil straight from the BOP…
North Brazil Oil – Deepwater Oil off the State of Pará
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…
Environmental Risks of Drilling the Brazilian Equatorial Margin
With the 11th round of tendering for O&G block in Brazil set to start next week, it is important to look at some of the serious risks involved in drilling for O&G in Brazil’s Equatorial Margin. Most of the offshore blocks being tendered in this 11th round of bidding are located along Brazil’s northeast and north coasts. This, according to the Brazilian government, is being done in order to de-centralize O&G production in Brazil, where most of the oil and gas E&P is done along the southeast coast, basically centered off the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo. This is all well and good, when considering the need to redistribute O&G wealth to other parts of the country…
Rio Oil&Gas 2012 – Great Outlook for New Business
A major opportunity for new business and new joint ventures was the prime result of the 2012 edition of the Rio O&G. Brazil’s National Petroleum Organization (Onip) believes the event may have been a catalyst for R$ 152,8 million (US$76,4 million) in new business for the next twelve months. A study made by Onip with companies present and the Rio O&G 2012 showed that 84% of these companies expected to undertake some for of new business opportunities in the near future. A total of 13 foreign and 17 local O&G companies negotiated to form joint ventures in the industry, of these 13 expect to close a deal on new joint ventures in the near future. These include local companies and companies from Canada, U.S, England, Argentina, Italy and France.
New O&G Operators in Brazil – Aurizonia Petróleo
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…
Virtual Shipyards in Brazil – Still a long way to go to supply the demand for ships from the O&G Industry
Most of the new shipyards to be built in Brazil are still on the drawing board. The exceptions are the Inhaúma yard, which was taken over by Petrobras and is being renovated as a ship repair yard, and the OSX shipyard which will be located within the Açu port complex in the northern part of the state of Rio de Janeiro. As both the port and the shipyard are owned by the EBX group, which also owns OGX OIL & GAS, they have guaranteed orders and have already received a partial environmental license and construction has already begun. The orders are guaranteed by the demand for ships from OGX, so they do not depend directly on orders from Petrobras.
Deepwater Oil Spill Containment System for Brazil
Where is the Petrobras Deepwater Containment System? Brazil today arguably has the largest deepwater drilling program in the world and most probably the biggest all around drilling effort in the world to boot. In 2011 alone 162 new wells will be drilled in Brazil, an all time high and a 30% increase compared to last year. Of these, 53 wells will be drilled offshore. It´s safe to assume that over 20% of these will be in deepwater pre-salt or deepwater post-salt plays along the Santos, Campos and Espirito Santo Basins. When Petrobras first announced this significant increase in their drilling program scope, a lot was said about expectations for more large pre-salt finds, increase in production, new drilling technologies, logistics problems and solutions and ultimately, profit.
OGX Keeps Up its Drilling Effort in 2011
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.