Aker Solutions Opened Drilling Risers Facility in Brazil

Aker Solutions today opened Brazil's only manufacturing center for deepwater marine drilling risers. Located in Rio das Ostras, on the east coast of Brazil, the unit is ideally positioned to serve the fast-growing Brazilian oil industry and capitalize on the boom in the global rig market.

The new facility has seen an investment of BRL 22 million and will primarily manufacture for the Brazilian market, but will also be able to deliver to other regions of the world. The facility, which has a workshop that covers a space of 2,450 square meters, will offer clients services ranging from engineering and manufacturing to maintenance and technical support.

"The global rig market is extremely buoyant, and the amount of contracted new build drilling units is likely to remain at a stable high level over the next five to seven years, at least," says Raymond Carlsen, executive vice president, Aker Solutions.

"The recent announcement from Petrobras, who has extremely ambitious plans within this area, confirms that the timing of our Rio das Ostras investment was right. We are hopeful that we can become a part of those plans and thereby help to contribute further towards the economic growth of the region. Our marine drilling riser system is developed to cover all deepwater needs, which is a good fit for the many deepwater field developments offshore Brazil," adds Carlsen.

The inauguration of the drilling riser facility base reflects Aker Solutions' commitment to the development of the Brazilian oil and gas industry. The company already has a manufacturing facility for subsea trees and other subsea equipment in Curitiba, as well as a subsea aftermarket base in Rio das Ostras.

With the opening of the new manufacturing base for drilling risers Aker Solutions has created a further 60 jobs, in addition to 130 positions already filled.

"To grow the company and create more jobs is extremely satisfying. Additionally, the development of local suppliers is also a goal to us. Several suppliers in the region and state of Rio de Janeiro were qualified to provide specific services such as painting, machining and surface treatment necessary in production of our drilling riser systems," says Marcelo Taulois, president of Aker Solutions' subsea business area in Brazil.

"Aker Solutions has a goal of being a 'preferred neighbour' everywhere we operate, and this vision has also been an integral part of the strategy for the new Rio das Ostras facility," adds Taulois.

The deepwater marine drilling riser systems manufactured at Rio das Ostras are all of the Clip Connector technology, which is exclusive to Aker Solutions. This technology offers significant time savings when connecting the riser joints, thereby offering rig operators significant reduction in costs from both reduced manpower and rig operations.

The first operations at the Rio das Ostras drilling riser facility started up in January this year. Current projects being undertaken at the facility is designed to supply deepwater marine drilling riser systems to Brazilian company Queiroz Galvao Oil and Gas, comprising the rig Olinda Star, which will operate in water depths up to 1,100 meters; the Gold Star, which will operate at depths up to 2,000 meters; and the Lone Star, which is capable of operating in water depths up to 2,400 meters.