Wellstream the Leading Flexible Riser Manufacturer in Brazil

New Wave Media

September 27, 2010



With headquarters in the UK, Wellstream has invested heavily in the Brazilian O&G market since 2007 and currently has an ongoing contract with Petrobras for around 700km of flexible pipes. They are the acknowledged leaders in flexible riser manufacture in Brazil.

Wellstream is a world leader in design and manufacture of flexible pipeline products, systems and solutions for fluid transportation in the O&G industry. The business, founded in 1983 is headquartered in Newcastle, UK, with manufacturing facilities in the UK, Brazil and USA. The company has over 1,000 employees worldwide and also has sales and project offices in Canada and Australia.
Flexible pipe products are used in many offshore field developments, but particularly where floating production vessels are involved. They include static flowlines, dynamic risers, and fluid transfer lines for the transport of hydrocarbon production and injection fluids.
Wellstream’s unbonded dynamic flexible risers, static flowlines and quasi-static jumpers represent key integrating technologies connecting subsea structures with surface production units.
The versatility of flexible pipe to provide this range of applications is largely a function of their structure which comprises the helical application of metallic wires and tapes, and extruded thermoplastics to form a composite pipe structure designed to address field specific constrains such as:
  • Pressure
  • Water depth
  • Temperature
  • Fluid characteristics
Wellstream's dynamic riser solutions include:
  • Traditional flexible riser systems for traditional FPSO developments.
  • Fluid Transfer Lines connecting offset risers systems to floating production units.
  • Export systems, or Offloading lines connecting floating production units to off-loading buoys.
Static flowline systems, connecting wellhead to riser serve to maximise infrastructure layout flexibility. Wellstream’s static systems are particularly competitive for marginal field developments which are tied-back to existing infrastructure, but may also be installed through existing rigid risers as part of field redevelopment or enhancement programmes to make use of existing infrastructure.
Quasi static jumpers used to connect top tension riser systems to topside floater pipe work, complete the portfolio, with their ability to absorb vertical movements of the production unit without transmitting dynamic loadings into the topside pipe work providing a significant advantage.
Customers include major O&G companies, independent oil companies as well as oil field services companies, in Brazil their major client is Petrobras with whom they have an ongoing contract and a cooperation partnership. Wellstream is also a preferred supplier to Petrobras.
Following completion of a 40% capacity expansion programme in 2009, Wellstream’s Newcastle facility now has an annual production capacity of 300km of pipe, while the Brazilian facility, which opened in May 2007, at an initial investment of $60million, has an annual prodution capacity of 270km.
Wellstream also manufactures flexible pipes for the onshore and shallow water industry under the brand FlexSteel™. This includes oil and gas gathering lines, injection lines, water and fluid transfer lines and pipe rehabilitation applications.
Wellstream is highly specialized in the fastest growing segment of the O&G services market – deepwater. The offshore flexible pipe market is expected to grow from $1.5bn in 2008 to over $2.5billion by 2013.
Wellstream also has an extensive track record in the development and application of technology and R&D, Strong customer relationships and diverse customer base, an impressive growth history and an experienced management team.
Wellstrean do Brasil was awarded a Petrobras framework contract in August 2008 , for the supply of in excess of £600m or 700km of flexible pipe over a 4 year period.
In March 2009 they achieved a 40% upgrade in manufacturing capacity.
One of the their goals for 2009 was maximize the use of national content in their facility in Brazil, reaching 80% Brazilian raw material use.
The Offshore Systems Manufacturing Facility in Niteroi, Brazil
In May 2007 Wellstream started production at its new manufacturing facility in Niteroi, Brazil. This new facility provides an:
  • Annual manufacturing capacity 270 km
  • Product range - 2-inch ID to 16-inch ID
In addition the site also provides:
  • Deepwater access of 10 meters
  • Docking facilities and 3 loadout stations
  • 300ton crane
  • A workforce of over 300, with a high level of national content in the workforce.
Wellstream also has a business office in downtown Rio de Janeiro.
Claudio Paschoa
Photo courtesy of Wellstream do Brasil
Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.
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