Petrobras Presents on Pre-Salt O&G Transportation Strategies

The executive manager for Pre-Salt Exploration & Production, José Miranda Formigli Filho, presented the lecture titled "Pre-Salt: The Impact on Transportation over Pipelines" during the Rio Pipeline Conference and Exposition 2009, on Tuesday, September 22. The event, which concluded on Thursday, is being held at the SulAmérica Conventions Center, downtown Rio de Janeiro.

During the lecture, which brought together some 700 people, Formigli presented the possible oil and gas transportation strategies and highlighted the importance of developing infrastructure to drive synergy among the Santos Basin pre-salt blocks.

Among the challenges that have been foreseen, Formigli emphasized the ocean floor topography issue, which has direct influence on the definition of the pipeline routes, environmental aspects on account of area sensitivity, in addition to the great depths from the waterline. The oil and gas outflow matter also came up, as did possible issues that may occur in the region, such as the formation of hydrates (which resemble ice crystals and are generated from the combination of gas and water molecules) in the pipelines and gas pipeline corrosion.

Technologies Being Studied

One of the critical matters, according to the manager, is related to the choice of the pipelines to be installed there, interconnecting the platforms and the producer wells. Regarding the risers (pipes that connect the seabed and to the production units), thus far it is not known whether the best solution will be to install flexible or rigid pipes. So far as the flowlines are concerned, the idea is to use flexible lines to increase the project's flexibility and optimize well location. With this in mind, the technical area is asking the market for technological alternatives that can meet the company's needs.

Another matter that is still under assessment involves oil and gas transportation. In the development phase designated as 1A, which begins in 2012, the current studies show the oil will be transferred, via shuttle tankers, to a monofloat system. This system will allow the oil to be transferred to oil tankers belonging to Petrobras and its partners. Petrobras' oil will be delivered to terminals off the Brazilian coast and the partners' oil to terminals overseas. As of 2017, the pipeline system, as well as other systems that are still being studied, can be solutions. For the gas, enhancement alternatives include gas pipelines for other points off the coast or the deployment of a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Unit.

Since 2005, the Rio Pipeline has been attracting growing interest from pipeline transportation professionals on account of the relevance of the issues discussed in the panels and technical lectures that comprise the program and also because of the expressive participation of companies performing in the area. Upwards of 4,000 people, among exhibition visitors and congress-goers, were expected for this year's edition of the event.