President Lula Baptizes Petrobras' New Platform

The President of the Republic, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, Chief of Staff and P-52 godmother, Dilma Roussef, acting Mines & Energy minister, Nelson Hubner, and Petrobras' President, Jose Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo, participated in the P-52 platform baptism ceremony on June 14th, at the Brasfels shipyard, in Angra dos Reis (RJ).

When speaking about the retaking of the Brazilian naval industry's development, President Lula said that "at one time the Country owned the world's second biggest naval industry," and encouraged the workers to qualify themselves to keep the Brazilian industry competitive.

During the ceremony, which was also attended by all Petrobras directors and by the presidents of Petrobras Distribuidora, Maria das Grašas Fortes, and of Transpetro, Sergio Machado, president Gabrielli highlighted the naval industry's revitalization, a process that was encouraged by President Lula. "We have two major worker categories represented here today, iron and oil workers. We emerged from several years of stagnation to near full capacity. The Brazilian naval industry's revitalization contributed to Petrobras' self-sufficiency."

During the press conference held before the P-52's baptism, Petrobras' Production & Exploration Director, Guilherme Estrella, highlighted the work's nationalization index and spoke about the company's projects.

"The P-52 is a milestone in Petrobras' history and in the Brazilian naval sector's building capacity recovery. It is the first platform to be concluded in Brazil' after president Lula's decision, while yet a candidate, that everything that could be made in Brazil, would in fact be made here, beginning with Petrobras' platforms. This is now a reality. The P-52 is yet another platform we put into operation. We will have another 60 major projects installed in Brazil between 2006 and 2011. This will guarantee definitive support to the self-sufficiency we achieved last year."

The director also mentioned the ongoing projects. "The P-52 will leave the wharf in August, undergo maritime tests, and then sail to the Roncador Field. The first oil is foreseen for September. After that, we will install the P-54, the Piranema platform, which is also a Brazilian production milestone, Golfinho II, and FPSO Cidade de Vitoria, in the Golfinho Field. This will be a very important year for Brazil and for Petrobras. As a Brazilian, I am very proud of seeing so many people hired in this project," he said.

The P-52 unit, the total cost of which neared $1 billion, was the first to comply with the new nationalization requirements, with an index of 76%, and it will add another 180,000 barrels to the Brazilian production per day and contribute to maintaining our self-sufficiency.

The work, commenced in May 2004, used the marine deck mating process, never before used in the country, and generated 2,500 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs.

When it reaches its full operating capacity, this semi-submersible-type unit will be able to process 180,000 barrels of oil and to compress 9.3 million cubic meters of natural gas. A part of Phase 2 of Module 1 of the Roncador Field development program, in the Campos Basin, the P-52 will be anchored at a depth of 1,800 meters and interconnected to 29 wells (18 producers and 11 water-injectors). Oil and natural gas outflow will take place via submarine pipelines.

The construction used a novel process

The main P-52 construction agreement was signed in December 2003 with the FSTP consortium, formed by Keppel FELS and Technip. Keppel FELS built four process and utility modules in Niteroi. Rolls Royce made the power generation units, while Nuovo Pignone manufactured the compression modules, both in Rio de Janeiro. The hull, built in Singapore by Keppel FELS, arrived in Brazil in March 2006.

The project's most delicate operation was wrapped-up exactly a year ago: the marine deck mating, i.e., joining the topside (upper part modules) to the hull. The operation, which has been carried out but a few times in the world because of its extreme complexity, had never been done in Brazil before and was concluded in 24 hours, confirming the Brazilian naval engineering qualifications and Petrobras' excellence in deepwater technology.


Once the work is wrapped-up, the P-52 will be submitted to the testing and adjustment stage, and then it will be taken to the Campos Basin, where it will be anchored and interconnected to the wells. Operations are expected to go online in the Roncador Field next September.

P-52 Data

Location: Campos Basin, 125 km off the coast
Oil production: 180,000 barrels per day
Gas compression: 9.3 million cubic meters per day
Power generation: 100 MW (capable of supplying a city of 293,000 inhabitants)
Anchoring depth: 1,800 m (equivalent to 47 Rio de Janeiro Christ monuments)
Length x Width: 125m X 110m (equivalent to 1.2 soccer fields)
Height: 125 m (equivalent to a 40-story building)
Living quarters: 200 people
Total Weight: 45.8 thousand tons (equivalent to 1,200 Boeing 737 aircraft)

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