News from Rio Oil & Gas 2012: Cenpes outlines future vision of Brazil offshore drilling and production
BY PRAMOD KULKARNI
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Petrobras, through its Cenpes R&D center, has embarked on a ambitious project to bring new-generation efficiencies into its offshore drilling and production operations by 2020. The Petrobras wish list includes laser and riserless drilling, nanoparticles, robotics, continuous well monitoring, FPSOs with "plug and play" equipment, and subsea processing. This vision, entitled PROCAP, was outlined by three Cenpes engineering executives in a session chaired by Mauro Lopes of Petrobras.
Orlando Ribeiro provided the background of how Petrobras established its leadership in deepwater through a gradual process beginning in 2008. Ribeiro said reaching this vision is going to require key partnerships with other operators, service companies, equipment manufacturers and universities. Throughout the process, Cenpes will focus on maximizing local content, he said. Intensive use of technologies will be used to provide intergrated reservoir and production management.
Julio Carlos Placido provided details of improving well construction through Cenpes' partnership with Foro Energy Co. to test laser drilling via coiled tubing to a depth of 6,000 m. Riserless drilling will be implemented through a concentric drilling string that will not require umbilicals, no lines or subsea pumps. The BOP will be activated through acoustic signals. Well integrity will be monitored through either fibre-optic or electronic systems to continuously evaluate critical parameters such as casing stress, corrosion and annular pressure.
Fabio Alves Albuquerque provided an insight into Cenpes' vision for subsea processing. Systems will be developed for oil-water and gas-liquid separation at 900-m water depth for a high flowrate production stream containing 79% water cut and 22 bar separation pressure. At 2,000-m water depth, Cenpes plans to develop systems to perform subsea gas compression for either export or re-injection. A subsea electrical transmission and distribution system is planned for a 50-km tieback by 2017 and a 200-km tieback by 2020.