Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - subsea

Major Effort to Increase Campos Basin Output

June 15, 2013

Petrobras has set plans to spend $5.6 billion through 2016 to increase output at the Campos Basin mature fields which have had decreased outputs for some time. Most post salt fields at the Campos Basin have been in production since the 1980s, some of which have been major producers. A steep decline in production began around 2009, not only due to the aging fields having low reserves but also because of lack of investments in operational resources and equipment for the older fields. The national operator will invest $1 billion in new money and spend $4.6 billion in operating costs to boost efficiency in the offshore Campos Basin operating unit to historic levels of about 90%, up from 72% in the first quarter of 2012.

Subsea Support Equipment Manufacturers Flocking to Brazil

June 16, 2013

Balmoral Offshore Engineering recently announced plans for a new Brazilian manufacturing facility, set to replicate the company´s existing facility in Aberdeen, Scotland. Already exporting more than 95% of manufactured goods from its Aberdeen HQ, the company is completing the incorporation of its Brazilian division, Balmoral Offshore Brasil Ltda. A number of locations for the facility are being considered with a final decision expected very soon. It’s thought that the multi-million pound investment could create up to 100 local jobs with expertise from the Aberdeen operation being drafted in to assist with plant commissioning. The new facility will manufacture the company’s complete range of products from the largest deepwater riser buoyancy and insulation systems to the smaller…

Saipem Going Strong in Brazil and Expecting more Growth

June 16, 2013

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Eni owns 43% of Saipem, which is organised in three Business Units: Offshore, Onshore and Drilling, with various activities in remote areas and deepwater. Saipem is also specialized in providing engineering, procurement, project management and construction services. In 2010 Saipem was awarded by Petrobras the EPIC contract for the P55-SCR project, encompassing the engineering, procurement, transportation and offshore installation of flowlines and risers serving the semi P-55 to be installed in the Roncador field, in the Campos Basin, off the coast of the Rio de Janeiro State, in Brazil. For this contract Saipem will be working with companies specialized in subsea construction, such as Advanced Subsea and others, while utilizing various subsea support equipment, such as AUVs and ROVs.

Subsea Processing System to go Online this year in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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The Marlim Field in the Campos Basin is the host for the world´s first operational system for deepwater subsea separation of heavy oil and water including the vital water reinjection to boost production in this mature Brazilian oil field and may be a key factor in expanding the production life of other mature fields in Brazil. Marlim is located in the north-eastern part of the Campos Basin, about 110km offshore of Rio de Janeiro, in water depths ranging from 650m to 2,600m (2,100 to 8,500ft). It has some 102 production wells, 50 injection well and 8 floating production units (FPU), devoted to the extraction of O&G. Marlim as a mature field approaching 20 years in operation…

Orteng Group Investing in Subsea, Rig Modules and O&G exploration

June 16, 2013

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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.

ECA Hytec Subsea Systems in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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The French subsea systems manufacturer has been introducing its range of subsea products in Brazil, including the AUV Alistar 3000 and ROV systems. Since 1981 ECA Hytec has been specializing in the design and manufacture of remote controlled systems for intervention in "hostile" environments. This activities include four main sectors: Subsea (offshore oil & gas, defence, oceanography), Nuclear, Pipes and sewers, boreholes and large bore pipe works (main ducts, galleries...), Environment with Explosive risks. They supply a wide range of o products such as remote controlled vehicles, video systems, robotics systems and remote controlled tools. Some of those are also available for rental.

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.

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.

NUTECMAR – Mini ROV leader in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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With the sharp increase in ship and shipyard construction, port construction and port safety awareness, all prompted by the mayor pre-salt and post salt oil discoveries off Brazil, many new local service companies, specialized in subsea services have been launched. Some of them are actually developing, Work Class ROV´s in Brazil using foreign or even locally developed technology. There has also been a marked demand increase for smaller ROV´s to be used in various fields including video inspection, side-scan sonar mapping, marine environmental research and training. It is likely that demand for small AUV´s will be increasing steadily as they can be very useful for environmental research…

New Impulse for Fisheries in Rio

June 16, 2013

The fisheries industry in Rio de Janeiro particularly and in Brazil in general, has historically received few investments from the government or the private sector. In reality, even fisheries monitoring, regulations and inspections are lax, at best. Many species have become basically extinct, such as the large lobster. This many soon begin to change. Recently the environmental secretary for Rio de Janeiro, Carlos Minc, announced that investments in fisheries and aquaculture will be included as part of the demands for local environmental licensing. This will be mostly directed to industrial environmental licensing in the north part of Rio but will eventually be an integral demand in all environmental licensing procedures along the coast of Rio.

VetcoGray´s Metal-to-Metal Sealing Technology

June 16, 2013

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The increase in exploratory O&G programs around the world and specifically the deepwater exploration programs being undertaken at the GOM, in West Africa and Brazil has caused major improvements and new technologies and materials to be employed in subsea equipment, such as BOPs, wellhead systems, risers, manifolds, flowlines, drilling fluids among others. GE´s VetcoGray has developed an interesting seal technology for its subsea wellheads. Named MS seal, it is based on Metal-to-metal sealing technology. All VetcoGray subsea wellheads use metal-to-metal sealing technology, which is superior to elastomer options because it prevents inevitable heat and corrosive fluids from damaging seal integrity. Both the wellhead and hanger have a sealing area of parallel wickers.

Coastal Monitoring, Preservation and Research Investments in Brazil

June 16, 2013

As huge investments are made in Brazil to develop the country`s O&G potential, actions targeting preservation of coastal and underwater ecosystems along the Brazilian coast are still lacking. With the Brazilian coast being 7,491 km long, it is even understandable that the Brazilian government, Petrobras and environmental agencies, find it difficult to expand coastal preservation projects to include the whole coast including the thousands of coastal islands. Petrobras has been making important investments in preservation of coastal and underwater ecosystem along the Brazilian coast, sponsoring far reaching projects in various areas, such as preservation of coastal flora and fauna, fisheries management and environmental education programs for coastal communities.

Subsea Processing Systems Expanding in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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The advent of reliable subsea processing has taken a considerable time to develop. For a few years now, it has been looked at as a vital solution for deepwater O&G development. Subsea processing technology was first developed to overcome challenges posed by extremely deep wells but in time it has become a proven solution in mature fields by decreasing the amount of equipment on the surface, therefore lowering operational costs and of course by boost diminishing production from mature wells, normally through re-injection of fluids, such as water, into the wells to increase the pressure inside the well. It is also an important solution in locations where harsh surface weather conditions make it extremely risky to have an anchored production plant.

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.

Major Deepwater Contract with Petrobras Spotlights Subsea 7´s Enhanced Capabilities

June 16, 2013

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The $1 billion contract awarded to Subsea 7 by Brazilian national oil company Petrobras, marks a new era in Subsea 7´s history. It is the first major (in terms of contract value) contract for the company after its merger with Acergy. The contract is for development of the Guara and Lula deepwater pre-salt fields in the Santos Basin, over 300km from the coast of Rio de Janeiro, in water depth of around 2,200 meters. These plays are located in Block BM-S-9 and BM-S-11 respectively. The EPIC (Engineering, Procurement, Installation and Pre-Commisioning) project scope consists of 4 decoupled riser systems featuring, four submerged buoys each of 1…

Phoenix and the Remora 6000

June 16, 2013

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The Remora is specially designed ultra-deepwater ROV. It was designed and built to explore and undertake specialized work at the seabed up to four miles deep. The builder of the Remora 6000, Phoenix International, is an American marine services company experienced in designing and manufacturing unmanned subsea vehicle and also in conducting complex manned and unmanned underwater operations. Phoenix is also a highly regarded operator, when it comes to wet and dry chamber underwater welding, underwater non-destructive testing, manned diving, side-scan sonar operations, underwater tooling, submarine rescue, and engineering design and integration.

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.

CYBERNETIX Eyeing Pre-salt Subsea Service Contracts in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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Marseille-based Cybernetix is a major European provider of remotely operated or robotic systems for intervention in subsea systems, operating in 15 countries. The company launched its Brazilian subsidiary in December 2010, located in Rio de Janeiro. CYBERNETIX Produtos e Servicos Ltda. "CYBERNETIX do Brasil" was born to compete for subsea contracts in Brazil, specifically aiming at services for the deepwater subsea pre-salt plays being discovered and also for those plays going through EWTs or already in first phases of production, as some pre-salt plays already are. Structural integrity monitoring for offshore units along with robotics equipments for inspection…

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.

Subsea Technology Development in Brazil - The Birth of a New Local Industry

December 31, 2010

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The massive increase of E&P in Brazil, especially when concerned with deepwater is giving rise to a new subsea equipment and technology industry in the country.Subsea technology companies have been operating in Brazil for many years. FMC Technologies for example has been in Brazil since 1956 and currently has two manufacturing facilities in Rio de Janeiro and one service base in Macaé (Northeast of the city of Rio). Construction of its new Technology Center, announced in July of 2010, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2011. The new facility will work on the development of innovative and cost effective subsea production systems to address the challenges associated with Petrobras' pre-salt oil and gas fields.
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