Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - pre-salt

Rising Environmental Concerns greet the Woods Hole Group in Brazil

June 16, 2013

The Woods Hole Group (WHG), headquartered in East Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, recently announced the launching of its first office in Brazil over increasing concerns about possible environmental problems which may be triggered by the continued increase in O&G exploration in Brazil. There are no local environmental organizations in Brazil that can match the experience, expertise and credibility of the WHG in terms of providing comprehensive solutions to challenges and consequences of environmental problems. Although Brazil´s official environmental impact agency “IBAMA” is undoubtedly experienced and even efficient in its environmental impact monitoring, it is still a government agency and therefore it can hardly be considered completely independent.

Water Injection improving deepwater and mature field EOR

June 16, 2013

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) can increase the volume of recovered oil from a well mainly through the use of two distinct techniques. One is water injection, which is increasingly being used in mature fields and another is CO2 injection which is mostly used in deepwater fields and according to Petrobras will be extensively used at many of the pre-salt fields in Brazil, as these fields usually contain significant amounts of CO2 along with oil and gas. These are secondary production processes. The production process always refers to oil that is recovered naturally from a producing well, that is without the use of pressure or flow stimulants, such as water or CO2.

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

June 21, 2013

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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…

Guará Pre-salt EWT Halted due to Subsea Production Pipe Failure

June 21, 2013

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Like I recently stated, bad thing happen real fast, in this case no one even knows exactly why things happened but no real harm was done since the Dynamic Produce FPSO, belonging to Brazilian contractor Petroserv, was down for maintenance since last Sunday, with the well being plugged and the pipes purged of O&G. Therefore, when the a pipe section connecting the FPSO to the well ruptured (it´s still not clear at what depth the rupture occurred or even how many ruptures there were), there was nothing in them to spill out, avoiding what would have been the first serious pre-salt production accident resulting in a oil spill. It is also…

Advanced-Subsea Deep in the Pre-salt

June 16, 2013

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With the great demand for deepwater subsea equipment and services,  for deployment at the new pre-salt plays and other post-salt deepwater plays from Petrobras and other O&G operators in Brazil, various companies specializing in deepwater equipment and services are setting up or have already set up shop in Brazil. At this point there are very few totally national companies that have the capacity to offer deepwater E&P support services and basically there are no 100% national companies with the capacity to manufacture deepwater support equipment. That will undoubtedly change along the next decade but for now until the foreseeable future these equipments and services will be provided by foreign companies through their Brazilian subsidiaries.

Offshore Port for Pre-salt Oil in 2012

June 16, 2013

Petrobras has decided on a novel way to transfer pre-salt oil to export and local market tankers from a maritime operations base. The projects named “Unidade Offshore de Transferência e Exportação”  (UOTE) or Offshore Transfer and Export Unit (OTEU), will work as a floating port terminal. Due to the distance from land of pre-salt plays such as Tupi, which is nearly 300km from the nearest coast. The national operator chose to use an DP enabled FSO anchored in shallow waters, 80 to 90km from the coast Rio, in around 70 meters of water to receive and store production oil from shuttle tankers loaded at the production FPSOs, over the pre-salt plays. The FSO will have a capacity to store 2 million barrels of oil and will be connected to underwater pipelines.

Action Continues at the Santos Basin Deepwater Pre-Salt

June 21, 2013

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Even as Petrobras allegedly slows its exploration efforts, new discoveries are still being uncorked in the Santos Basin. While the national player announced the start up of the EWT in the Guará area in late December, yesterday a new deepwater pre-salt light oil accumulation is discovered in an adjacent area at the same BM-S-9 exploratory block. The Guara  EWT is producing through well SPS-55, and  is expected to last for five months with a daily production is estimated at 14,000 barrels of oil per day. The Guará area is located in block BM-S-9 and around 300 kilometers off the coast of São Paulo state. The recoverable O&G volumes in Guará are estimated at between 1.1 and 2 billion boe with a around 30º API.

Subsea Equipment & Services Demand Continues Growing in Brazil

November 2, 2010

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New discoveries and the development of deepwater and ultra-deepwater pre-salt increases the demand for subsea equipment and service providers, attracting various international and local companies to compete for subsea contracts for the Brazilian offshore.The deepwater scene is in full swing in Brazil, with major projects being developed by various operators and national operator Petrobras. All these projects require a multitude of subsea equipment and subsea services, which accounted for a steady growth in subsea equipment and service providers from around the world setting shop in Brazil. Companies that have a history of quality equipment and services usually have an advantage when disputing these contracts, but the final product and services price is also a major issue.

Rio Grande Naval Complex - Dedicated to Brazil´s Pre-salt

October 21, 2010

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The launching of the Rio Grande Naval Complex completes another key project for pre-salt production, as the complex will house the hybrid pre-salt FPSO production line, which already has an order book for 8 units. Petrobras has launched today the Rio Grande Naval Complex, in the city of Rio Grande, southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The complex is considered so vital to the Brazilian pre-salt production that the outgoing president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was in attendance. The complex consists of a 430,000 m² infrastructure designed for the construction and repair of offshore units for the O&G industry. The complex will be capable of building drillers and production rigs.

Carbon Fiber for Deepwater Umbilicals

October 15, 2010

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The umbilicals in the oil and gas industry are the lifelines of deepwater O&G fields, connecting wells to the offshore platform. The use of carbon fiber rods to replace some of the steel sheathing is an interesting development for use in deepwater umbilicals.Since the 1990s, subsea production systems have become increasingly important, specifically for deepwater plays. Some wells or well systems are located as far as 100 km from the production rig and may be up to 3,000 meters deep. As a result, umbilicals composed of steel tube conduit, thermoplastic hose, or a combination of the both, are critical for power, control, communication, and fluid injection to keep deepwater wells working efficiently and producing continuously.

Petrobras Shows Its Strength

September 30, 2010

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With Brazilian presidential elections imminent, and having just completed its successful shares offer, Petrobras finds itself in a privileged position with the new pre-salt legislation guaranteeing the company as sole operator of all the pre-salt blocks negotiated from the 11th bidding round onwards.Although some parts of the new legislation are still to be voted it is considered as a certainty that the bils concerning Petrobras´ greater influence in the pre-salt will pass. Since the discovery of the Tupi field in 2007, and other pre-salt fields discovered at the Santos Basin, there has been national and global excitement over the possible extent of Brazil´s pre-salt reserves.

AUVs in the Brazilian O&G industry

September 29, 2010

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AUVs had only been used for a limited number of tasks dictated by the technology available until newer technologies were developed. With the development of more advanced processing capabilities and high yield power supplies, AUVs are now being used in Brazil for some new tasks, although its primary function is still seismic studies and environment analysis.The players in the Brazilian O&G market use AUVs in conjunction with Survey ships to make detailed maps of the seafloor before they start building subsea infrastructure; pipelines and subsea completions can be installed in the most cost effective manner with minimum disruption to the environment.

FPSO Cidade de Angra dos Reis Beginning Production at the Tupi Field

September 23, 2010

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The MODEC owned and operated FPSO Cidade de Angra dos Reis MV22 has been moored in 2,150 meters (7,053 ft) at its final operational location over the giant Tupi area in the Santos Basin. O&G production operations will begin in a few weeks after on-location tests.MODEC converted the VLCC "M/V Sunrise IV" into an FPSO at the COSCO (Dalian) Shipyard Co., Ltd. (“COSCO Dalian”) in China. The FPSO is classified by ABS as 29.7 meters in depth, 58.00 meters in breadth, and 318.46 meters in length. The conversion from VLCC to FPSO involved steel fabrication, module installation and integration, the installation of cables, pipe and equipment.

Deepwater Completion Challenges in Brazil

June 16, 2013

The pre-salt is still in its infancy, the only thing that´s guaranteed is that a lot of light oil is down there under a massive viscous salt crust over 2km deep in places. We know its recovery is viable and economically feasible (Oil companies don´t play to lose). How much O&G there actually is down there, may be a whole lot more than people are led to believe. Some people do have a reasonable idea of the magnitude of the deepwater pre-salt, mostly they are or one day were, Petrobras geologists, yet no one really knows the full extension of the Brazilian pre-salt reservoirs. It´s massive anyway, it´ll take 5 more years for the picture to become clearer but the deepwater challenges are here, they are many, and time is not on Brazil´s side.

More Growth for UFRJ Technology Park

January 17, 2011

After SLB launching its geosciences lab late last year, 2011 starts with agreements to build Halliburton and Tenaris Labs at the UFRJ Tech Park, which is already considered the main technology research hub in Latin America.Halliburon and Tenaris Confac recently signed contracts with UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) to build laboratories within the university´s technology complex, which is located at Fundão Island in the north zone of Rio. Both companies will be building research facilities for development of new technologies for the O&G industry. They will join Petrobras, Baker Hughes, FMC, Usiminas and SLB who already have research labs installed in the area.

Brazilian Offshore Subsea Lab

January 10, 2011

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The Brazilian government and Navy are considering an ambitious plan for launching an offshore subsea lab to be located at the limit of the country´s territorial waters and beyond the farthest pre-salt playThe idea is to place an oceanographic lab at Brazil´s most remote maritime frontier, in order to have a continuous presence and dominate as area in which hidden natural riches go beyond the pre-salt layers. At the limit of the continental platform, around 350 nautical miles (648 km) from the coast, the potential for mineral reserves under the seabed is considered to be very high. This is not only a government project but also a military matter, which will involve government agencies, the Brazilian Navy, and Brazilian private companies.

Rig Module Hub in Bahia

December 22, 2010

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The Brazilian northeast state of Bahia will house various construction yards and shipyards dedicated to rig module construction, such as jackets and floats.Accompanying the growth in ship construction in the Brazilian northeast states, the tropical state of Bahia is showing a marked increase in shipbuilding investments. Along the “Baía de Todos os Santos” or Bay of All Saints, various yards are being built to compete for rig module orders. The major client will undoubtedly be Petrobras, but there are expectations that as the yards increase their efficiency, other national and foreign O&G players operating in the Brazilian offshore will also become interested in placing orders to these new yards.

Controlled Growth for Brazil´s O&G Development

December 7, 2010

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With the final voting of the new regulatory model for Brazil´s O&G market, Petrobras confirms it will control local development in order to let local industry catch up to the demand.The Brazilian O&G market development speed is directly dependent on the shipbuilding industry and the specialized equipment and services industry. The hard truth is that none of these local supporting industries are presently capable of supplying the Brazilian O&G demand and it is clear that it will take quite a few years for the local industry to catch up to this demand, even then in many cases, such as shipbuilding, this accelerated growth will only be possible through partnerships with leading international shipbuilders.

Maritime Infrastructure Projects Targeting Brazil O&G Market

November 18, 2010

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As Petrobras announces that it will go through with five more deepwater pre-salt drilling projects this year, totaling 16 pre-salt wells drilled in 2010, a number which will probably increase in 2011 and more pre-salt, deepwater and shallow water plays keep being uncovered, new shipyard and new port projects are getting underway to make up the some of the infrastructure deficit in Brazil.OSX has finally defined that its shipyard will be build next to the Açu Port and Industrial Complex in the northeast coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The final decision was decision was based on the competitive advantages of UCN Açu, as attested by the results of comprehensive engineering…

Logistics and Workforce Problems Plaguing Brazil´s O&G Development

November 10, 2010

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While the news pertaining to discoveries and new field developments is highly encouraging, the bottleneck created by logistics needs for the pre-salt and lack of specialized workforce in various areas of the O&G industry is hindering a faster growth rate for the oil and shipbuilding industry in Brazil.Petrobras was recently upgraded to being the fourth largest energy company in the world, mostly due to the pre-salt fields and there is little doubt in the market that the company can continue climbing this ladder, possibly to the very top, in another decade. Unfortunately it is not all roses, as serious logistics and workforce issues continue plaguing the nation.
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