Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - pre-salt
Aker on Managed Pressure Operations
When Aker Solutions acquired Managed Pressure Operations in 2013, it became a provider of next generation continuous circulation and managed pressure drilling (MPD) systems, which has become a critical component to the drilling process going into the future. MPD systems have proven to be reliable, enabling maximum up time and significant cost savings and has been labeled of strategic importance for pre-salt drilling by Brazilian operator Petrobras, which uses MPD systems developed by Weatherford, which was the company that first introduced large scale use of the system to the industry. The MPD system being introduced by Aker/MPO is fully automated and simple to operate, needing few people to run the equipment.
Pre-salt Seafloor Construction/Remote Operations Challenges Part 1
As a world leader in construction and remote operations in deep waters, Petrobras has been developing new technologies and testing them with their partners in Brazil’s deepwater pre-salt fields for over a decade. Petrobras has historically opted for an incremental strategy to develop its technological capabilities to explore the Brazil’s offshore oil resources. As deepwater discoveries began to enter the production phase, Petrobras opted for using and FPSOs and wet x-mas trees. These discoveries of supergiant oil fields in the Brazilian pre-salt have offered Petrobras an opportunity for reviewing its technological path and it is becoming clear that the national operator has been increasingly inclined to move as much of the oil production systems to the seafloor as possible…
Rio O&G 2014 – High Tech & Business for All
The last day of the Rio O&G conference began with an early morning presentation on the possible uses of Nanotechnology for O&G exploration and advanced oil recovery. The sector, with the support of IBP (Brazilian Petroleum Institute) has been working on a Nano Agent capable of increasing the average oil recovery by 20%. According to Rustom Mody, Vice-Presidente of Technology at Baker Hughes, presently 60% of nanotechnology patents are from the U.S. and Canada and the number of patents has greatly increased in the last 10 years, with the market experiencing a major growth since 2009. The market presently involves values of over US$ 9 billion, up from the US$ 4,5 billion of 5 years ago.
Clariant’s H2S Management and Sequestration Tech for the Pre-salt
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…
Brazil’s National Operator, Petrobras has been experimenting with advanced Water-Alternating-Gas injection in a number of offshore plays and recently at the Rio O&G 2014, Petrobras’ Pre-salt manager confirmed that the super-major will be using the technology at most, if not all of its pre-salt plays. The WAG injection process aims to recover more oil from a reservoir and also to recover oil more efficiently. The technology was originally intended to improve sweep efficiency during gas flooding, with intermittent slugs of water and gas designed by and large to follow the same route through the reservoir. Variants include injecting gas as a supplement to water or vice versa, primarily to reach other parts of the reservoir.
Pre-salt Seafloor Construction/Remote Operations Challenges Part 3
With the experience Petrobras has gained in deepwater field construction, the national operator has learned the best ways to get the job done and who to work with. Much of Petrobras’ deepwater seafloor construction work has been done by DOF, Technip, Subsea 7, FMC and Aker. Large deepwater post-salt fields such as Roncador, Frade and Marlim amongst others have been the main testing grounds of many construction techniques and much of the equipment being installed. Obviously, experience in deepwater seafloor construction has also been gained by Petrobras and service providers in locations such as the GoM and West Africa. Most of the pre-salt subsea trees will be built and installed by FMC, OneSubsea and Aker. FMC has a total order worth $1,5 billion, which was announced in March of 2012.
Pre-salt Seafloor Construction/Remote Operations Challenges Part 2
According to Petrobras production engineers, secondary recovery is increasingly being implemented to improve oil recovery in the pre-salt carbonates, where reservoir rocks are usually oil wet, and this characteristic affects the performance of water injection. Another problem concerning water injection is related to rock-fluid interaction, which is more important and complex in carbonates. In order to assess the risks involved, as well as to define mitigation actions, rock-fluid interaction tests are being carried out in the reservoir rock and the salt cap rock. Alternative recovery methods are being implemented in the pre-salt reservoirs.
Rio Oil & Gas 2014 – Focus on Technology
The latest edition of the Rio O&G 2014 Expo and Conference is easily the biggest installment ever of the largest O&G event in Latin America. Many foreign participants were saying that it was the one of biggest even they’ve seen anywhere and also one of the most well organized. Praises were also lavishly handed out to the quality of the technical presentations, lectures, panels and digital poster sessions. Important developments for the industry have also been announced during the event, such as the news that Brazil’s thirteenth bidding round will take place in the first semester of 2015 and Shell’s Executive Vice President Mark Shuster’s much commented speech…
Advanced Drilling Technology: Mapping-While-Drilling
Oil and Gas drilling teams usually contend with tight schedules for project developments and this may eventually lead to low quality plans and limited risk assessment, which may cause expensive and potentially dangerous drilling problems, such as, stuck pipes, violent kicks, unproductive time and cost overruns. The introduction of Schlumberger’s reservoir mapping-while-drilling service is enabling drillers to make better decisions in short timeframes and avoid costly mistakes. For the operators, the main benefits from the effective well placement may be maximized production, minimized construction and intervention costs. The process of well placements brings together many different disciplines…
Pre-salt Production Start for P-58
Petrobras’s P-58 FPSO started operations at Parque das Baleias, off the state of Espírito Santo, on the north sector of the Campos Basin through well 7-BFR-7-ESS, another pre-salt producer, which is showing an excellent productivity. P-58 is part of the North project of Parque das Baleias, which encompasses production from Baleia Franca, Cachalote, Jubarte, Baleia Azul and Baleia Anã plays. P-58 is moored approximately 85 km off Espírito Santo, at a water depth of 1,400 meters. In the upcoming months, 15 production other wells, being 8 pre-salt and 7 post-salt, as well as 9 injection wells will be interconnected to it through 250 km of flexible pipelines and two subsea manifolds.
RTM for Improved Salt Imaging
Reverse time migration (RTM) is a powerful imaging tool. It has the ability to account for rapid spatial variations in the velocity model and to utilize all wavefront information, producing superior images of the most complex structures. This is why RTM is frequently used to interpret salt structures in regions known to have complex salt geometries like the Gulf of Mexico. With the application of recent advancements such as Vector Offset Output and 3D angle gathers, the imaging capability of RTM is enhanced even further. RTM is a pre-stack two-way wave equation depth migration, recognized as being able to produce superior pre-salt images compared to other migration algorithms such as Kirchhoff, control beam migration (CBM) or one-way wave equation migration.
Cobalt’s Lontra 1 off Angola taps “Global Scale” reserves
Cobalt International Energy recently said the drill stem test results at its Lontra 1 pre-salt well off Angola were "exceptional, with excellent quality reservoirs that are better than we had expected". This may be the first major pre-salt find in WA that matches some of the huge pre-salt plays uncorked in Brazil. Drilled to a depth of 4,195 meters (13,843 feet) and penetrating some 75 meters of net pay, Cobalt said that, "while further appraisal drilling will be required to determine the ultimate size of the Lontra field, it is clear that Lontra is a discovery on a global scale”. Lontra is a pre-salt prospect off Angola in Block 20.
Carcará - Another Big Pre-salt Play in Brazil
The Carcará oilfield off the Brazilian coast is named for a bird of prey that is liberally known as the Brazilian Eagle, its scientic name is: Polyborus Plancus. Carcará located in Block BM-S-8 is believed to hold one of the thickest reservoirs ever discovered in Brazil's Santos Basin pre-salt cluster, with a reservoir thickness of 471 meters. The play is being developed by a consortium composed of Petrobras (66%), Galp Energy (14%), and Brazilian players QGEP and Barra Energia with (10%) each. Tested flow rates and reservoir conditions at the Carcará discovery are superior to the famous Lula field. The Lula field, which is currently producing about 100,000 bopd, is estimated to hold recoverable reserves of between 5 billion and 8 billion boe.
Brazil Exploration Review 2013
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.
New Pre-salt Bidding Dependant on Industry Development
The Brazilian Government has decided that any future bidding rounds involving pre-salt blocks will only be launched according to the local industry capability to supply the demand in equipment and services needed by the sector. Local industry has been struggling to keep up with the demand placed by O&G players already involved in pre-salt E&P in Brazil, which are all Petrobras partners, such as BG and others. A study is being done by the Brazilian government to define which is the adequate exploration rhythm for pre-salt development that will allow local industry to keep up with demand realistically. This is an important initiative by the Brazilian government because it will allow sector of local industry to develop technologies and services required by the deepwater pre-salt players.
The Pelotas Basin Oil Province Revelation
Pre-salt and post-salt exploration in the Campos, Santos and Espirito Santo basins along Brazil’s southeast margin has yielded extraordinary success, while their southern sister, the relatively unknown Pelotas basin, has seen little attention for over the last ten years, despite displaying clear direct hydrocarbon indicators in previous seismic surveys. However, a new 2D seismic program acquired in 2013 by Spectrum Geo Multi-Client is revealing new evidence for sand-rich systems and oil plays, making the deepwater Pelotas basin an excellent choice for blocks to be nominated in Brazil’s upcoming 13th bidding round, which may take place sometime in 2014.
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…
Remora’s HiLoad DP for the Pre-salt
Remora is a Norwegian company, focused on providing solutions for offshore O&G loading. The company was established 2002 and has its head office in Stavanger, Norway and an office in Houston. Remora does business using a ship-owner structure by building, owning, leasing and operating HiLoad units. The range of HiLoad applications spans from offshore loading of crude oil, turret mooring of FSOs and FPSOs, as well as a mobile propulsion or DP system for seagoing vessels such as barges and floating rigs. The HiLoad concept is an innovative offloading solution which utilizes a ballasting system combined with a large square area of friction rubber which enables the HiLoad units to replace the water pressure on the tanker hull with no mechanical connection…
O&G Mergers and Acquisitions on the rise in Brazil
According to data from KPMG consulting there were 22 merger and acquisition operations in the market during the first 6 months of 2013, 4 times higher than in the first semester of 2012. This is mostly due to the 11th round of bidding that took place in April sponsored by the ANP (National Petroleum Agency). According to a KPMG executive, since the O&G sector had not had any bidding rounds for 5 years, a score of new business opportunities arose that attracted many foreign investors. Of these 22 operations, 10 were buy-outs, where foreign companies bought Brazilian companies in order to enter the market. Another fact that relates to…
Angola Pre-salt Development
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.