Future Trends – Automated Drilling
Some interesting trends are developing within the O & G industry, one of which is the trend towards increasingly automated drilling. Since the early stages of onshore and offshore drilling, the act of drilling itself has been undertaken as a hands-on job by specialized workers, along the last decade this has begun to change with the introduction of autonomous computer-controlled drilling operations, also known as drilling automation. Oil and Gas operators are developing technologies which they hope will allow drilling operations to be automated, consequently meeting their safety goal of zero people hurt on the job and also reducing drilling operation costs.
O&G Exploration to Increase in Brazil
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.
Discoveries, Confirmations , Production Start-ups and…Safety
The oil industry in Brazil finishes the year with intense activity on all fronts and the efforts are massive. However the risks taken on the deepwater projects and older production rigs may still lead to major spills if not kept in check.Petrobras recently discovered light oil in sandstones reservoirs in the post-salt section of the Espírito Santo Basin. The discovery was the result of the drilling of the 1-BRSA-882-ESS well, known as Indra, located within the BM-ES-32 Block. Petrobras holds a 60% stake and is the operator, Statoil holds the remaining 40%. It is located 140 km from the city of Vitória and was drilled to approximately 3,850 m, from a water depth of approximately 2,100 m, and is the deepest oil discovery at Espírito Santo Basin.
New National O&G Safety Program for Brazil
A new partnership between ANP (National Petroleum Agency), Ibama (National Environmental Agency) and the Brazilian Navy, plans to upgrade and expand existing E&P safety measures, in order to prevent major oil spills in Brazil. According to Haroldo Lima, Director of ANP, presently Petrobras elaborates the contingency programs for each platform, but now the Brazilian government will launch a nationwide contingency plan led by the navy and involving the regulatory agency and the environmental agency. Although Lima emphasizes that the current safety systems and regulatory systems in place on offshore platforms in Brazil are among the most advanced in the world, he admits there will certainly be upgrades due to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy at the GOM.