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.
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.
Rig Maintenance Costs X Safety First – A Harsh Reality That Must Be Addressed
Petrobras has lately been dealing with serious workers, syndicate, regulatory agency and judicial concerns over the state of some equipment on a few of its older production platforms. How important is safety anyway?The O&G workers syndicate, “Sindicato dos Petroleiros do Norte Fluminense” (SPNF) has been battling with Petrobras over the state of conservation of some production platforms at the Campos Basin. The main complaints were rusted pipes, usually the ones flowing with water and gas that show advanced stages of rust and also problems with working conditions of various valves and lubrication filters. In some rigs the rust is so pronounced that areas had to be cordoned off as they presented grave danger to workers. This includes stairs, floor grates and safety fences.
Orteng Group Investing in Subsea, Rig Modules and O&G exploration
The Orteng Group has been investing in turn-key solution for energy systems and automation and is now reaching out to rig module construction and O&G exploration in Brazil. Orteng AC Service, the technology branch of Orteng Engineering, has been introducing AUV´s, ROV´s and Manipulator Arms, through a partnership with ECA Hyatec. During the Rio O&G 2010, the Orteng booth was brimming with subsea tech products such as the AUV Alistar 3000, which is projected to undertake inspection missions using videos and a wide array of sensors up to a depth of 3000 meters. They also had manipulator arms on display and demonstrations of the equipment, including a manipulator arm serving champagne, just to show how precise the equipment is.
Rig Module Hub in Bahia
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.
New Rig Module Construction Yards for Maritime Complex in Bahia
Four new construction yard foundations are being built in the Aratu Bay inside the Bay of All Saints (Baía de Todos os Santos), in the state of Bahia.The four new yards will build offshore rigs modules and the complex is expected to open a total of 4,000 work positions for the local workforce. The state maritime and port industry secretary commented that there is a need to invest in workforce training or there will be an invasion of workers from other states. Steps are being taken by the State and Federal Government to qualify workers, such as welders, painters and technicians to man the yards. The new yards will be run by four different companies, Belov Engenharia and GDK from Bahia, Multitek from Minas Gerais and Niplan from São Paulo.
Anchoring Flowlines, FPSOs and Rigs in Deepwater – The Torpedo Pile
Among the many challenges facing E&P in the Brazilian deepwater pre-salt plays, is that of anchoring the flowlines, platforms, FPSOs and even buoys to the seabed which can be over 2000 meters deep. Petrobras has developed a simple and efficient method of doing this through the Torpedo Pile.In the case of the deepwater pre-salt plays in Brazil, specially at the Santos Basin, the distance from land to some of the proven plays like Tupi and Iara, which are around 300km from shore and pose complex logistics problems even on surface structures. Challenges, such as how to anchor a deepwater rig or FPSO to the seabed 2,200 meters down must be resolved. It is a long distance for anchors to travel, normally four or more anchors are used and these anchors need to be aligned.