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, Jose Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo.
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, corresponding to 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.
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