DOF Launches Largest AHT Ever Built in Brazil
Last Month the DOF Group named on the largest anchor handling tug vessel (AHT) ever built in Brazil, the Skandi Iguaçu. The vessel has over 32,000 BHP installed and bollard pull of more than 300 tons. Having been built at the STX OSV shipyard accros the bridge from the city of Rio de Janeiro, in Niteroi, the vessel will be ready for delivery to Petrobras three to five months in advance of contract requirement. Skandi Iguacu was ordered from STX OSV shipyard, with financing from the Brazilian Merchant Marine Fund through the BNDES (Brazilian Development Bank). The Skandi Iguaçu is part of a new generation of high powered anchor handling vessels, designed for operations across a wide range of deepwater depths and environmental conditions.
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…
The Toucan and the Dragon
It took a while to happen, but Petrobras and Chinese oil and petrochemical companies finally reached partnership agreements. Considering the scope of the Brazilian pre-salt and the expected growth of the Brazilian O&G market, these partnerships may become vital, as much more investments will be needed along the next 10 years. These partnerships in research and O&G exploration and production have been in negotiations for a long time but it took an official Brazilian delegation, headed by Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff, going to China, in order make it happen. It was a certainty in the market that this partnership would eventually come to be, it was just a matter of when it would happen and what it would encompass.
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.
Major New O&G Pipelines Raising Environmental Concerns
Recently Petrobras, the Brazilian national O&G operator announced that it had awarded Technip a 5-year frame agreement contract for the supply of around 1,400 kilometers of flexible pipes, with supply starting in 2013 and orders are guaranteed for at least 50% of the total value, which is currently estimated to be worth around US$2.1 billion. Flexible pipes for the contract will be produced both at Technip's existing manufacturing site in Vitoria, and also at our new manufacturing facility under construction in Açu, Brazil. This agreement is a direct spinoff of the investment Technip made last year in building a second state-of-the-art flexible pipe plant in Brazil…
More Investments Needed Form Offshore Inspections in Brazil
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.
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.
Coastal Monitoring, Preservation and Research Investments in Brazil
As huge investments are made in Brazil to develop the country`s O&G potential, actions targeting preservation of coastal and underwater ecosystems along the Brazilian coast are still lacking. With the Brazilian coast being 7,491 km long, it is even understandable that the Brazilian government, Petrobras and environmental agencies, find it difficult to expand coastal preservation projects to include the whole coast including the thousands of coastal islands. Petrobras has been making important investments in preservation of coastal and underwater ecosystem along the Brazilian coast, sponsoring far reaching projects in various areas, such as preservation of coastal flora and fauna, fisheries management and environmental education programs for coastal communities.
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.
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.
Full Shipyards in Brazil
Brazilian shipyards are trying to become internationally competitive in terms of product quality, pricing and keeping to deadlines. There are presently around 280 units in construction in Brazil, including PSVs, tankers and rigs, with a workforce of around 56 thousand and growing. The shipyards are full to capacity and even though there are over twenty new yards being built, there is still a demand for more. One of the main problems faced by these new yards is to maintain a high quality standard in order to compete with experienced foreign yards. This is no easy feat. However many of these new yards being built have some form of partnership with international shipyards, looking to enter the Brazilian market.
NUTECMAR – Mini ROV leader in Brazil
With the sharp increase in ship and shipyard construction, port construction and port safety awareness, all prompted by the mayor pre-salt and post salt oil discoveries off Brazil, many new local service companies, specialized in subsea services have been launched. Some of them are actually developing, Work Class ROV´s in Brazil using foreign or even locally developed technology. There has also been a marked demand increase for smaller ROV´s to be used in various fields including video inspection, side-scan sonar mapping, marine environmental research and training. It is likely that demand for small AUV´s will be increasing steadily as they can be very useful for environmental research…
OSX looking at building drill rigs for Petrobras
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.
Habitats Project - Campos Basin Environmental Studies
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.
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%).