Ten-Story High Floating Platform Goes in Service off Brazil’s Coast

Brazil's government managed hydrocarbons corporation Petrobras began yesterday oil and gas extraction from the new Cidade do Rio de Janeiro vessel-platform in the Espadarte field, belonging to the Campos Basin.

The new unit will be capable of lifting up to 100.000 barrels of oil and 2.5 million cubic meters of gas per day. Installed at a water depth of 1,350 meters, the new platform can store 1.6 million barrels of oil.

The platform's initial operation, also known as "first oil," was celebrated in a ceremony attended by the governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro and by Petrobras' president, José Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo.

Governor Sérgio Cabral praised the investment saying that "Rio de Janeiro is very pleased, once again, with this partnership. We are happy Petrobras is investing in our state, bringing wealth to our state."

President Gabrielli highlighted the significance of yet another unit going online. "For the Espadarte field, this represents a very big possibility to boost its production. For the Campos Basin, meanwhile, it is the first new production platform this year. Finally, for Brazil, this is but the first of another three new platforms we will put online here in Rio de Janeiro. Therefore, it is time to celebrate."

The Cidade do Rio de Janeiro is an FPSO (floating oil production, storage, and offloading) unit that is 320 meters long, 54 meters wide, and 30 meters tall, approximately the height of a 10-story building.

The new platform is expected to reach its full production capacity in 2007. When operating at full load, it will be connected to nine underwater wells, five of which produce oil and natural gas while the other four are used for water injection.

The FPSO has several technological innovations onboard, among which a new oil-pumping system developed by the Petrobras Research Center (Cenpes). The underwater centrifuge pumping system, also known as S-BCSS, assists in lifting the oil from the field to the platform.

The great advantage, compared to the traditional systems, is that it is installed externally to the well, on the sea floor, expediting pump maintenance and replacement. This technology will slash operating costs, facilitate remote intervention in the connected wells, and do away with completion rug use, one of the most expensive devices to lease in the international market.

Contracted from MODEC International LCC, the Cidade do Rio de Janeiro FPSO will make a significant contribution to maintaining Brazilian oil self-sufficiency, says a release from the oil and gas corporation.

Mercopress

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