Marine Technology Reporter Blogs

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.

Rolls Royce Increasing Investments in Brazil

June 16, 2013

Relying on the expected growth of the O&G industry in Brazil and the influx of new rigs and FPSOs in the Brazilian offshore market, British manufacturer, Rolls Royse is set to make a $60 million investment in a new plant to build energy modules for offshore rigs. The plant will be located in Santa Cruz, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The manufacturing plant is slated to begin operations by the third quarter of 2012. Rolls Royse is also seriously considering another $60 million investment in Brazil in the next 2 or 3 years, in the O&G sector and in other sectors such as airplane turbines. The location in Santa Cruz was chosen because of its proximity to the company´s client base in Rio de Janeiro and also to its proximity to the Campos Basin…

Joint Industry Project Focused on Arctic is Underway in St. John's

May 26, 2011

A Joint Industry Project (JIP) launched by INTECSEA aims to advance the application of existing and emerging subsea technologies in strategically important offshore oil and gas developments in remote and hostile environments—particularly in offshore arctic and cold-climate regions. The JIP is led out of INTECSEA’s St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada office. Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada (PRAC) administers the contractual entity. INTECSEA kicked off the JIP in December 2010 in St. John’s. Completion is scheduled for year-end 2011. JIP participants include three oil companies participating in arctic developments offshore Eastern Canada.

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.

OGX – Intensifying Discovery Appraisals and Planning on ordering 3 more FPSOs

June 21, 2013

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Paulo Mendonça, CEO of OGX stated that the first quarter of 2011 was very important for the Brazilian operator. OGX has been intensifying the campaign to appraise its discoveries in the Campos basin, where 16 wells have been spud since the beginning of the year, of which 10 are appraisal wells for the accumulations Waikiki, Pipeline and Illimani (Campos Basin) and Fazenda São José (Parnaíba Basin), with the intent of converting 3C contingent resources into 2C and 1C, and thereafter into reserves. -Delivering the vital and time sensitive declaration of commerciality to ANP (National O&G regulator), related to the discoveries in Campos, Santos and Parnaíba Basins.

$500,000 Investment Announced for NavSim Technology

May 11, 2011

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced a $500,000 investment in NavSim Technology Inc., a St. John’s-based software and hardware developer of electronic navigation solutions. The investment will support the company’s efforts to target growth opportunities in international markets for its navigational software which reduces the risk of collision or grounding for recreational boaters and major ship traffic. According to the company, NavSim currently has a greater than 90 per cent share of the Canadian piloting market for the safe and efficient navigational handling of marine traffic near land using buoys and other landmarks.

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…

New Deepwater Discoveries in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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Petrobras, Brazil´s National operator hás recently disclosed new local and international O&G discoveries. The discoveries in Brazil are all in deepwater. In the Espírito Santo Basin the hydrocarbon accumulations were found in the Cretaceous reservoirs of a well known as Brigadeiro, down at 1,900 meters and located within the BM-ES-23 concession area in Block ES-M-525, 115 km off the coast of the State of Espírito Santo in southeast Brazil. This new deepwaterdiscovery at the very promising Espirito Santo Basin, was confirmed through wireline logging and fluid sampling, in t reservoirs located at around 4,200 meters.Petrobras is the operator of block BM-ES-23 (65%), which is also composed of Shell Brasil Petróleo (20%) and Inpex Petróleo Santos (15%).

Synthetic DYNEEMA Ropes for Deepwater MODU

June 16, 2013

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With the increase in deepwater O&G exploration, the demand placed on mooring ropes for MODUs (Mobile Operating Drilling Units) has increased dramatically. Rope manufacturers have been developing products based on new materials and also adapting their manufacturing processes to accommodate new materials and more stringent requirements. In some deepwater plays mooring ropes will be going down to 2,000 or even 3,000 meters, which places massive stress on the ropes, due not only to its length and weight but also due to the action of subsea currents, ship movement caused by surface waves, currents and wind. Dutch rope manufacturer Lankhorst Ropes…

Hydroid´s Remus 6000

June 16, 2013

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The Remus 6000 AUV was designed and developed by a partnership between the Naval Oceanographic Office, the Office of Naval Research and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). The Hydroid Inc, is young company, which was founded in 2001 by the inventors of REMUS to commercialize their product and to allow this ultra-deepwater AUV technology to reach a wider market and to guarantee funding for continuous product development. The REMUS AUV is the product of over 15 years of leading edge research and development. The REMUS 6000 is the deepwater version of the acclaimed Remus 100, lightweight, shallow water AUV and the Remus 600 deep water AUV.

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.

Ultra-Deepwater AUVs and ROVs show their value by finding AF 447s Fuselage

June 16, 2013

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If the earlier searches for the debris had made a more intensive use of ultra-deepwater AUVs, finding the sunken fuselage, the black boxes and voice recorders may have taken considerably less than two years. However we must also consider that the total estimated search area was huge. The first idea of using submarines, just wasn´t enough with the extreme depth involved (3,900 meters). France had announced last February that it would begin the 4 phase of its search for the AF 447 debris, somewhere over 700 km from the north coast of Brazil, beyond the remote islands of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, a notorious shipwreck location. The new effort aimed to find the downed Airbus A330-200, which crashed on May 31 2009, killing all 228 passenger and crew members as it flew from Rio to Paris.

Marport Announces Next Generation Synthetic Aperture Sonar

April 27, 2011

On April 25, Marport Deep Sea Technologies Inc. of St. John’s announced AquaPix®, a new interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) developed for mine countermeasures, hydrography, seabed survey and other underwater imaging markets. AquaPix® is based on Marport’s Software Defined Sonar®, an underwater acoustics technology platform that enables advanced underwater sensing, communications and imaging products. The software-centric architecture enables digital signal processing to be executed in multiple FPGA cores allowing dynamic reconfiguration and massively parallel processing performance. The sonar is frequency agile from 200 – 400 kHz and offers range-independent resolution of 2.5cm by 2.5cm with co-registered 3D bathymetry.

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.

The Toucan and the Dragon

June 19, 2013

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It took a while to happen, but Petrobras and Chinese oil and petrochemical companies finally reached partnership agreements. Considering the scope of the Brazilian pre-salt and the expected growth of the Brazilian O&G market, these partnerships may become vital, as much more investments will be needed along the next 10 years. These partnerships in research and O&G exploration and production have been in negotiations for a long time but it took an official Brazilian delegation, headed by Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff, going to China, in order make it happen. It was a certainty in the market that this partnership would eventually come to be, it was just a matter of when it would happen and what it would encompass.

Deepwater Umbilical Challenges in Brazil and Worldwide

June 16, 2013

In the past all umbilicals were made of thermoplastics, used mainly for transport of hydraulic fluids to open or close valves, with separate hoses connecting to each valve on a subsea tree. As the deepwater production increased, concerns over possible failures on thermoplastic umbilicals mounted, triggering the development of the steel tube umbilical. Efficiency and reliability are the keys for deepwater umbilicals. The modern subsea umbilical used by the O&G industry provides transmission of electric and fiber optic signals, electrical power, hydraulic fluids, and injection of chemical fluids from the surface to the seabed through electric and/or fiber optic cables encased in thermoplastic and/or steel tubes.

PanGeo Subsea and SeaRoc Team to Provide Offshore Renewable Energy Services

April 13, 2011

PanGeo Subsea Inc. of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, a service provider of high-definition 3D sub-seabed acoustic imaging, and SeaRoc Inc. of Brighton, UK, a consultancy with experience in offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, have entered into a working agreement to pool their expertise to offer a comprehensive service package to the offshore renewable industry. The two companies will provide a bundled site investigation service that includes project management, vessels, imaging equipment and data collection and analysis to support the near-shore and offshore requirements of investigations and installations related to the development of wind farms.

OGX chooses DecisionSpace Desktop Software

June 16, 2013

It was recently announced that all of OGX´s geophysical and geological software applications will be moved to Landmark´s DecisionSpace Desktop, which is a Halliburton owned company. "The integration of workflows and data such as rock, logs and seismic across domains in the DecisionSpace Desktop allows us to work more efficiently as we explore for hydrocarbons, improve our asset knowledge, and reduce our exploration risk.", said Marcos Amaral, OGX´s Executive Manager for New Technologies. "DecisionSpace Desktop's unique approach to reservoir description, known as Dynamic GeoModeling, is a no compromise, unified and dynamically updated interpretation and modeling system," said Gene Minnich, vice president of Landmark Software and Services.