PGS' Ramform Sovereign Arrives in Brazil to Commence HD3D Projects

Petroleum Geo-Services

Amid colorful banners, a media show and festive samba music, an exuberant crowd of PGS clients and employees welcomed the Ramform Sovereign to Brazil in early October.

The much anticipated arrival of the Ramform Sovereign lived up to all expectations and marked the start of a series of record breaking HD3D (4D baseline) projects in the Santos and Campos basins of Brazil. These projects are expected to last until Q1, 2010 and will earn PGS in excess of $240 million.

On Sunday, October 5th, the Ramform Sovereign sailed quietly past Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf) and into port. It was 7:45 am, right on schedule. After fulfilling her Naval and Ibama (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources) inspections with flying colors, she docked at Pier Maua in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, October 8, for PGS staff visits and the client welcome party that evening.

Over 200 clients and 50 PGS staff enjoyed a guided tour of the vessel. The professionalism of the crew made the event remarkably informative. For many, this was a first chance to view a seismic vessel.

After dinner and speeches, during which the significance of this project was highlighted in relation to production plans, the upbeat sounds of the Casuarina Band entertained partygoers. The band, which is famous in Lapa for their traditional samba style, played into the night. With the beat still ringing in their ears, the Ramform Sovereign and her crew left port at 6 a.m. the next morning, heading for the much-lauded Tupi prospect.

Opening a New Horizon for Exploration in Brazil

The Tupi discovery, located in depths of more than 2,100 meters, is extremely significant and contains a potential 1.7 to 10 billion barrels of hydrocarbons. The deposit is considered part of a new frontier as it lies under a 2,000-meter-thick salt layer that is positioned under 3,000 to 4,000 meters of sand and rock beneath the seabed.

Considered the world’s largest discovery since 2000, Tupi is one of many pre-salt discoveries announced recently in Brazil. Until now, Brazil's reserves have been found in post-salt formations -- above the salt layer.

"Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing the Ramform Sovereign to Brazil," said Magne Reiersgard, PGS President NSA Region. "It has been an incredibly rewarding process for PGS to be able to show the world’s most modern seismic vessel to the industry here. The benchmark of client expectations regarding vessels and professionalism in the industry has just been raised significantly higher by the crew of the Ramform Sovereign and the PGS team in Brazil."

New Deployment Record

The Ramform Sovereign deployed a spread of 14 x 8,000 m streamers with 50m streamer separation. This makes a new world record of 112 kilometers of deployed streamer.

The vessel acquired a test line on Friday, October 17th, but inclement weather delayed the start of actual production until October 21st.