Marine Technology Reporter Blogs

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…

"Intelligent Sensor Platforms for Remotely Piloted Vehicles" Research Project Funded in Newfoundland

March 30, 2011

St. John’s-based Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is launching a five-year project, “Intelligent Sensor Platforms for Remotely Piloted Vehicles”, to develop intelligent sensor systems to support autonomous decision-making and the operation of unmanned vehicles. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Atlantic Innovation Fund is investing $2.2 million and the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador is investing $723,750, which complements funding from The Boeing Corporation to Memorial University for research on autonomous systems. The estimated project costs are $3.6 million.

Saipem Going Strong in Brazil and Expecting more Growth

June 16, 2013

FPSO Cidade de Vitoria
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.

Cold Cutting and Grinding Tools for EX areas in the O&G Industry

June 16, 2013

g grinding
Recently I had the opportunity to talk to the Safety Tools Allmet rep in Brazil and I was impressed with the possibilities it brings for some of the work done in on oil rigs. I´ve done quite a bit of industrial welding and currently I am pursuing a welding inspector certificate, so I have a clue. On an average day on an oil rig, a variety of welding jobs are undertaken, each of these will require cutting or grinding or even both. Most, if not all areas on oil rigs can be considered EX areas. The advantages of using cold tools to do these finishing jobs on rigs are many and there aren´t that many downsides to it either. It all started in Norway…

Water Injection improving deepwater and mature field EOR

June 16, 2013

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) can increase the volume of recovered oil from a well mainly through the use of two distinct techniques. One is water injection, which is increasingly being used in mature fields and another is CO2 injection which is mostly used in deepwater fields and according to Petrobras will be extensively used at many of the pre-salt fields in Brazil, as these fields usually contain significant amounts of CO2 along with oil and gas. These are secondary production processes. The production process always refers to oil that is recovered naturally from a producing well, that is without the use of pressure or flow stimulants, such as water or CO2.

Subsea Processing System to go Online this year in Brazil

June 16, 2013

Tordis render
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…

Brasil Supply offering Integrated Solutions for the O&G Industry in Brazil

June 16, 2013

Brasil Supply was launched in 2002 to provide logistics services to offshore operations, technical services of oil, water and gas treatment fluids, and environmental services for the oil and gas industry. Their headquarters is located in the State of Espirito Santo, based in the cities of Anchieta and Cariacica, and they also have offices in the State of Rio de Janeiro, in cities of Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro, and Duque de Caxias. Further south, they also operate in the city of Itajaí, in the State of Santa Catarina, and are developing a significant operation in the Northeast of the country, in association with other major service providers.

Uncertainties at ME, GOM and WA making Brazil more attractive to O&G investors

June 21, 2013

fierce fighting libya edges civil war
This is true for all areas of the O&G industry and definitely highlights the importance of Brazil´s pre-salt E&P. The recent unrest experienced in Bahrain in the Middle East, the ongoing civil war in Libya, rampant attacks on oilfields in Nigeria and uncertainties in other WA countries, added to the drilling moratorium at the GOM may have a substantial influence in O&G related investments being increasingly channeled to Brazil. One of the consequences of the international unrest that is influencing an increase in investments in the Brazilian pre-salt, is the increase in world oil prices, which is at around $113 a barrel of Brent, with the latest rise directly resulting from the clashes in Libya and unrest in other Middle East countries…

Guará Pre-salt EWT Halted due to Subsea Production Pipe Failure

June 21, 2013

Like I recently stated, bad thing happen real fast, in this case no one even knows exactly why things happened but no real harm was done since the Dynamic Produce FPSO, belonging to Brazilian contractor Petroserv, was down for maintenance since last Sunday, with the well being plugged and the pipes purged of O&G. Therefore, when the a pipe section connecting the FPSO to the well ruptured (it´s still not clear at what depth the rupture occurred or even how many ruptures there were), there was nothing in them to spill out, avoiding what would have been the first serious pre-salt production accident resulting in a oil spill. It is also…

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.

Offshore Personnel and Students Receive Simulator-based Lifeboat Training

March 16, 2011

The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University (MI) of St. John’s, Newfoundland is the first post-secondary institution in the world to offer simulation-based training in launching, maneuvering and recovering lifeboats in all weather conditions. MI’s Offshore Safety and Survival Centre is training offshore personnel and students on the Survival Quest system developed by Virtual Marine Technology (VMT), also of St. John's. VMT develops simulators for survival craft and high-speed electronic navigation training. “Using the SurvivalQuest simulator we can better prepare lifeboat operators to handle a variety of emergency launch conditions in a safe, realistic and focused learning environment,” said Glenn Blackwood, Executive Director of the Marine Institute.

CYBERNETIX Eyeing Pre-salt Subsea Service Contracts in Brazil

June 16, 2013

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…

$6.8 Million Offshore R&D Center Announced in St. John’s

March 2, 2011

A $6.8 million investment to establish the Suncor Energy Offshore Research and Development Center was announced this week in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The new facility will expand Memorial University of Newfoundland’s S. J. Carew Building which currently houses the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Suncor Energy is contributing $2 million and the Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) is investing $4.8 million in the 1,090-square-meter extension to the building. The Suncor Energy Offshore Research and Development Center will provide dedicated office space for collaboration between industry and research partners on projects related to the ocean technology and offshore petroleum sectors. Construction is slated for completion in 18 to 24 months.

New O&G Province in South Campos Basin a Reality

June 21, 2013

Tests on a number of recently discovered adjacent wells, along with the first production well at Waimea Horizontal, support OXS´s claim that a new shallow water O&G province has been discovered at Block BM-C-41 in the southern Campos Basin. It is very significant when an acclaimed Geologist such as Paulo Mendonça, General Manager (Director) of OGX, comments that “This is one of the best production tests I have ever seen in my life”. Mr. Mendonça worked for decades in Petrobras and actively participated in ALL the major hydrocarbon reservoir discoveries made by Petrobras in Brazil, including the early Campos Basin boom, along with spearheading discoveries at the Espirito Santo and Santos Basins.

Advanced-Subsea Deep in the Pre-salt

June 16, 2013

With the great demand for deepwater subsea equipment and services,  for deployment at the new pre-salt plays and other post-salt deepwater plays from Petrobras and other O&G operators in Brazil, various companies specializing in deepwater equipment and services are setting up or have already set up shop in Brazil. At this point there are very few totally national companies that have the capacity to offer deepwater E&P support services and basically there are no 100% national companies with the capacity to manufacture deepwater support equipment. That will undoubtedly change along the next decade but for now until the foreseeable future these equipments and services will be provided by foreign companies through their Brazilian subsidiaries.

Deepwater Oil Spill Containment System for Brazil

June 16, 2013

Interim Containment System Photo
Where is the Petrobras Deepwater Containment System? Brazil today arguably has the largest deepwater drilling program in the world and most probably the biggest all around drilling effort in the world to boot. In 2011 alone 162 new wells will be drilled in Brazil, an all time high and a 30% increase compared to last year. Of these, 53 wells will be drilled offshore. It´s safe to assume that over 20% of these will be in deepwater pre-salt or deepwater post-salt plays along the Santos, Campos and Espirito Santo Basins. When Petrobras first announced this significant increase in their drilling program scope, a lot was said about expectations for more large pre-salt finds, increase in production, new drilling technologies, logistics problems and solutions and ultimately, profit.

Unicontrol Active in Petrobras Rigs and FPSOs

June 16, 2013

Unicontrol Ltda is a Rutter subsidiary in Brazil that has been supplying automation and control systems and support services for Petrobras offshore rigs since the beginning of the decade. In 2007 Unicontrol successfully renewed its contract to provide support services to 32 Petrobras platforms operating in the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil. Valued at $3.5 million, the two year contract encompasses ongoing control systems maintenance and support for these platforms and carries the option to renew for an additional two years. “Our original contract with Petrobras began over four years ago when Unicontrol was successful in winning an initial two year $1.6 million contract…

$1.3 Million Order for Rutter Inc.'s OIl Spill Detection and Management System

February 16, 2011

Rutter Technologies, a division of Rutter, Inc. of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada has secured a $1.3 million (US) order to provide its Oil Spill Detection and Management Systems to Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC). Delivery will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in April 2011. “This purchase by Marine Spill Response Corporation is intended to enhance offshore skimming capabilities during night-time operations as well as during times of decreased visibility,” said Rutter President and CEO Fraser Edison. Based in Herndon, Virginia, Marine Spill Response Corporation is an oil-spill response organization that owns and operates a fleet of dedicated oil spill response vessels…

Offshore Port for Pre-salt Oil in 2012

June 16, 2013

Petrobras has decided on a novel way to transfer pre-salt oil to export and local market tankers from a maritime operations base. The projects named “Unidade Offshore de Transferência e Exportação”  (UOTE) or Offshore Transfer and Export Unit (OTEU), will work as a floating port terminal. Due to the distance from land of pre-salt plays such as Tupi, which is nearly 300km from the nearest coast. The national operator chose to use an DP enabled FSO anchored in shallow waters, 80 to 90km from the coast Rio, in around 70 meters of water to receive and store production oil from shuttle tankers loaded at the production FPSOs, over the pre-salt plays. The FSO will have a capacity to store 2 million barrels of oil and will be connected to underwater pipelines.

Sete Brasil and the Petrobras National Drillship Program

June 16, 2013

EAS shipyard D Estaleiro Atlantico sul
Sete (Seven) Brasil is the newest Petrobras offspring. The the new private company was launched to administer the 28 drillships that Petrobras will order. The tender process for the first seven orders was won by EAS shipyard, located in the Suape Complex, close to the city of Recife, in the Northeast State of Pernambuco. The total price for these seven drillers adds up to $4.637 billion, which means a $13 million discount from the original proposal. The final price for each driller is pegged at around $662 million and the drillers are scheduled to start operations by 2015. During construction the forecast is for 32 thousand direct and indirect job openings. In its operational phase, the forecast is for 10 thousand direct and indirect jobs for a period of 10 years.
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