Petrobras to Start up Taps in Late 2010

Petrobras has christened, at the Brasfels shipyard, in Angra dos Reis (RJ), the P-57 vessel platform, which will operate in the Jubarte field, in the Espírito Santo portion of the Campos Basin, 80 km off the Espírito Santo coast. This unit opens the way for a new generation of platforms, designed and built based on an engineering concept that focuses on streamlining projects and standardizing equipment. This is a model that will be a reference for future Petrobras platforms, such as the P-58 and P-62, and for units that will operate in the Santos Basin pre-salt cluster.

The P-57 is an FPSO- (floating production, storage, and offloading) type platform, and is part of the second phase of development for the Jubarte field. Anchored at a water depth of 1260 meters, it will produce oil of 17 degrees API (a measure of the oil density). The platform will be capable of processing up to 180,000 barrels of oil and 2 million cubic meters of gas per day. It will go on stream later this year interconnected to 22 wells, 15 of which producers and seven water injectors. It will be the first unit of this complexity to operate on the Espírito Santo coast.

Production is expected to peak by early 2012. The oil it produces will be transferred on shuttle tankers to land, while the gas will flow through an undersea pipeline to the Sul Capixaba Gas Treatment Unit, located in the region of Ubu, in the town of Anchieta, which is located at about 100 km from Vitória.

Technological innovations

The P-57's production system is equipped with a new technology to collect 4D seismic data, permanently installed on the seabed. This solution will afford greater flexibility in obtaining seismic data while improving reservoir interpretation quality, and, thus, optimize production. The unit will also adopt an innovative method to lift the oil that is in the reservoir up to the platform. The approach consists of a centrifugal subsea submersible pump (BCSS) installed in a special compartment on the seabed, separated from the producing wells. This design will allow for cost reductions in the event of equipment repair.

Engineering challenges

The engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the P-57 was signed in February 2008 with Single Buoy Moorings Inc. (SBM). The platform's hull was converted from the Island Accord oil tanker at the Keppel Shipyard, in Singapore, between October 2008 and March 2010. Simultaneously, the oil and gas processing modules were built in Brazil, at the UTC Engenharia construction site, in Niterói (RJ), and at the Brasfels shipyard, in Angra dos Reis (RJ). The hull arrived at the Brasfels shipyard last April, when module installation was completed, all systems were interconnected, and the unit's final tests ran.

The construction of the P-57 reached a contractual level of national content of about 68%. The strategy of prioritizing good and service procurement in the Brazilian industry seeking to contribute to the development and expansion of the domestic industry resulted in the generation of over 2,000 direct jobs in the country.

Simplification and efficiency

The knowledge gained from building the P-57 will serve as a model both for the design of the P-58, P-62, and P-63 platforms, and for the "replicant FPSOs" intended for use in the Santos Basin pre-salt area (state of São Paulo). The new unit's design was simplified and its equipment standardized pursuant to the highest operating safety standards. This strategy ensured greater efficiency both in project management and in the progress of the procurement, construction, assembly and testing stages. The result was the strict compliance with contractual terms, the maintenance of the initial planned cost, and the assurance of the quality demanded under the contract. Additionally, the new strategy resulted in a lighter, easier-to-maintain platform, a significant gain, therefore, from the economic, managerial, and technical standpoints.