Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - pre-salt

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.

Efficient Drill Bits for the Pre-salt

July 23, 2013

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The expression "pre-salt" refers to an aggregation of rocks located offshore along large portions of the Brazilian and West African coasts, it forms a carbonate rock interval that ranges under an extensive layer of salt which, in certain areas of the Brazilian coast, can be as much as 2,000 meters thick. The total depth of these rocks formations, or the distance between the surface of the sea and the oil reservoirs under the salt layer, can be as much as 7,000 meters. Drilling in the pre-salt is extremely complex and may require multiple trips being made by the drill bit in order to drill short lengths due to different rock layers with varying degrees of hardness. Another challenge is that the salt is very corrosive and is also plastic, as you drill down, it tends to close the well walls.

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…

Subsea Well Response Project to be launched in Brazil

June 15, 2013

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With the continued increase in deepwater drilling off the coast of Brazil, it is good to see that Petrobras, Brazil’s national operator, will soon have a well containment device ready for immediate deployment in case of a deepwater blowout such as was experienced in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy at the GoM. According to a Petrobras drilling inspector who prefers to remain anonymous, the Brazilian super-major player believes that their well drilling and completion systems are totally reliable as long as their safety procedures are followed, however, they are taking no chances and have joined forces with other major operators to increase drilling, completion and production safety standards worldwide.

A Monster Named Libra

June 18, 2013

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Back in 2009 I asked a good friend of my late father, who happened to be a long time Petrobras geologist, if he really knew the full potential of the pre-salt, after a while he looked up and said no not really, I know there are big fields out there, probably up to 10 billion boe in some reservoirs, possibly much more... Well, Petrobras kept on drilling and when Libra was found northeast of the Lula field (5 to 8 billion barrels boe), in 2010, the expectations ran high. Maybe 3.7 billion boe, maybe 15 billion boe. Probably 7.9, those are the numbers the ANP had in 2010. By May 2011 the ANP was downgrading it to 5 billion barrels boe.

JIP Collapse Assessment of Offshore Pipelines with D/t < 15

June 15, 2013

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Based on project experience, research, and joint industry development work, DNV issues a number of pipeline codes. These comprise service specifications, standards and recommended practices, and are highly regarded within the international pipeline community. The DNV OS-F101 ‘Offshore Standard for Submarine Pipeline Systems’ provides acceptance criteria and design procedures for pipelines. The standard applies modern limit-state-design principles with ‘safety classes’ linked to consequences of failure. The DNV standard is complemented by several recommended practices (RPs), which give detailed advice on how to analyze specific technical aspects according to stated criteria.

Doubling Brazil’s Oil Production

June 15, 2013

ANP Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency is looking at doubling the country’s O&G production and also its proven reserves in the next 10 years. According to Magda Chambriard, ANP’s Director, that is the challenge faced by the local O&G industry. According to Magda, the O&G industry is already receiving 63% of the country’s investments, and Brazil will still need to invest US$400 billion in the next decade in the services area in order to meet the industry’s demands, while sticking to the local content regulations. Brazil has proven reserves to the tune of 15 billion barrels boe. “The demand on a minimum local content figure on projects in the service area for the O&G industry has created a niche of opportunities for Brazilian and foreign companies present in Brazil, that cannot be ignored.

Petrobras Betting on Partnerships to Develop Deepwater Equipment and Solutions

June 16, 2013

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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.

Synthetic DYNEEMA Ropes for Deepwater MODU

June 16, 2013

Lankhorst Ropes Thunder Hawk FPU go M moored with Gama rope reduced
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…

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.

Seaglider to Monitor the Brazilian Pre-salt

June 15, 2013

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Researchers from Coppe/UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) will use data from AUVs,UUVs, floating sensors and satellites in a novel monitoring system, which scientists believe will decrease the time needed in order to identify oil spills. Other than the important aspect of quickly identifying oil spills in the pre-salt, scientists will gain greater knowledge about this little explored region, which is already considered to be the new frontier in the Brazilian O&G industry. The project is named “Projeto Azul” or Blue Project and calls for a US$10 million investment, which will be footed by BG Brasil. The Project was launched and the investment agreement signed last week during the RIO + 20 event.

Brazilian Pre-salt Discoveries Raise Expectations for New Discoveries in WA

June 15, 2013

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Statoil recently increased the estimates for their Campos Basin pre-salt O&G discoveries up to a substantial total of 1.24 billion barrels boe. Consequently Statoil has also increased its optimism for the geologically similar plays it has in Angola. Not only are the cross ocean plays geologically similar but they are also located along the same longitude. Both pre-salt geological formations off the Brazilian and West African coasts have their origins in common, something that goes back around 120 million years ago, when ancient Gondwana split into what is now known as South America and Africa. The pre-salt reservoirs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are expected to contain large quantities of light oil.

U.S.-to-Brazil submarine cable to be laid

June 16, 2013

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In an importand development for Brazilian high-speed communications with the United States, U.S. based Seaborn Networks service provider is primed to lay a new system of submarine cummunications cable that will provide a direct route between the Unites States and Brazil. Set to go active in 2014, the new Seabras-1 submarine cable will offer 32 Tbps of capacity connecting Miami and Sao Paulo, with a branch that lands in Fortaleza, Brazil. The service provider's timing couldn't be better as the Brazilian government prepares to adopt a National Broadband Plan and the country is also preparing to host upcoming 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, which will drive greater growth of voice, video and data services throughout Brazil. The major increase of U.S.

Shallow Water Pre-salt Discovery to Spark More Driiling

June 18, 2013

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The recente Discovery of a shallow water pre-salt reservoir by Brazilian private operator OGX has definitely raised a few eye brows. This novelty is a first in Brazil as up to now all other pre-salt reservoirs have been found in ultradeep waters off the Brazilian coast and usually very far from the coast. This new discovery which is located in BM-S-57 Block, in the Santos Basin and is less than half the distance from the mainland as other pre-salt finds in the Santos Basin, exactly 102 km from the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The wellhead is only 155 meters deep and the well was drilled down to 6,135 meters, which is the normal depth where pre-salt reservoirs are expected to be found.

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.

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…

VAM Drilling opens new mill targeting pre-salt

June 16, 2013

VAM Drilling is a company belonging to the French drilling pipe manufacturer Valourec. The new VAM Drilling mill will be located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, adjacent to already existing Valourec & Mannesmann (V&M do Brasil) steel production and pipe rolling plant. With this the company expects to be able to respond more rapidly and efficiently to its customers in South America, lowering logistics costs and reducing the production time. Accortding to Hector Arevalo VP of South American sales for V&M do Brasil “Because of the local steel production and pipe rolling capabilities of V&M do Brasil, the new mill will be able to provide full capabilities.

New Players Tackling Brazilian Pre-salt – Barra Energia

June 18, 2013

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Barra Energia do Brasil Petróleo e Gás Ltda or Barra Energia was established in 2010 as an independent O&G exploration and production company. Its headquarters is in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, close to all the main O&G Basins in Brazil and where all other players working the Brazilian offshore are based. The company was launched by executives, engineers and geologists that with long career histories in the O&G business, most hailing from super-majors like Petrobras and also from Repsol. The company advertises its main competitive edge as being its technical and commercial expertise and local knowledge. Barra Energia is counting on this expertise to guide them in their E&P efforts which will primarily focus on the three major offshore O&G areas in Brazil…

New Deepwater Discoveries in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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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%).
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