Middle East

Andre Lima Cordero, Executive Manager,

Brazil has always pushed the boundaries of deep-sea exploration and production, and it does so today. Some of the world’s largest deep-sea reservoirs are often complex in their own right, so new solutions had to be devised. Elaine Maslin learned more from Andre Lima Cordero.

Petrobras has led the development and deployment of underwater treatment and boosting systems. Andre Lima Cordero, executive manager of Petrobras’ undersea system, says there are multiple drivers. “For the past 20 years, Petrobras has used underwater treatment and boosts to maximize production, high CO2 production, topside limits, long-term tie-backs, cost-cutting requirements, and other challenges in offshore oil and gas field development. I have overcome. “

In fact, in Brazil, more than 40 submarine treatment and boosting systems have been installed since the installation of electric submersible pumps (ESPs) in submarine wells in the Campos basin. Since then, Petrobras has been experimenting. Of these 40+ installations, 57% are still up and more are planned.

“The Seafloor Oil-Water Separation System (SSAO) installed in the Marlim field in 2011 was one of the biggest challenges at a depth of 900 m,” Cordeiro considers to be one of the biggest milestones in undersea treatment. Emphasize that you are. Petrobras boost. “The main advantage of SSAO was that it was able to reduce processing and operational costs while eliminating bottlenecks in upper equipment and increasing production.”
To be sure, the brownfield project presents the biggest challenge. “The Seafloor High Boost Multiphase Pump (BMSHA) in the Barracuda oil field at a depth of 1,040 m and the Raw Water Injection (RWI) pump in Albacola at a depth of 600 m were both installed in 2012 and remind us of the challenges associated with the brownfield. Let’s limit the topside facilities, “he says. “For RWI, the Albacola reservoir requires a large amount of water infusion, which was not taken into account in the early stages of field development and technical and economic constraints prevented the use of traditional seawater infusion plants. In the Barracuda oil field, the inefficiency of gas lifts required the use of high differential pressure BMHSA to maximize well oil flow. The main advantages of these systems are production and oil recovery. To maximize. “

HISep. Image courtesy of Petrobras.


But Petrobras is always looking forward to it. The next milestone in this area is to apply HISep technology. This will be a melody field. Cordeiro explains: “HISep is a seafloor separation and boosting technology that removes excess gas containing high CO2 levels on the seafloor and reinjects it directly into the reservoir. It reduces the total amount of gas reaching the top surface and gas treatment. Eliminate plant bottlenecks and, as a result, expand oil production plateaus. In this context, HISep brings added value to areas of high GOR (gas oil ratio), high CO2 content, such as Mero. It shows a special possibility. “

Mero’s reservoir fluid contains about 45% CO2 in the produced gas and has a GOR of about 440 Sm3 / Sm3. For these reasons, Mero is the perfect representative scenario for accrediting HISep to reach technology maturity and ultimately enable commercial replication. HISep is currently in the technical certification process (in TRL6 according to API17Q). This is targeted to be implemented by 2025.

Undersea power

Today, the major focus for many, including Petrobras, is on submarine transmission and distribution. “All electrical systems begin to reduce the complexity of the system and its impact on platform production,” says Cordeiro. “New undersea boosts that reduce longer tieback distances, deeper water depths, and platform footprints through the use of submarine transmission and distribution, including new technologies under development such as submarine variable speed drives (VSDs) and submarine distribution panels. The project has the potential to be possible. Another advantage is that it minimizes the complexity of the umbilical, which is one of the most notable points of the underwater treatment system, and of the hydraulic unit. The impact on the platform is reduced by avoiding the need and all the logistics associated with providing this fluid, which also has a positive impact on CO2 emissions. Another potential advantage is the control valve. It works fast. “

Another possibility for all electrical systems is to support unmanned ground equipment. And this is an area that Petrobras is also paying attention to. “Petrobras has already begun some research on unmanned surface systems,” says Cordeiro. “Analysis is still preliminary, but some predicted challenges can remain top-side as a power plant and its auxiliary equipment, with the management of different chemicals required at different process stages. The level of maintenance required for a capable topside system. In fields with high CO2 content, some CO2 plants need to be removed before exporting gas. This technology is only available on the topside. The main benefit of reducing manned factories is the reduction of workers at risk, even if they are not yet unmanned. “

But for Cordeiro, the most exciting thing that’s happening in underwater processing right now is HISep. “The most exciting thing is HISep because of the novelty of its separation,” he says. “It is important to point out that a robust risk mitigation program has been implemented to ensure separation and pumping requirements.”

Submarine high boost multi-phase pump. Image courtesy of Petrobras.

https://www.oedigital.com/news/493158-interview-andr-lima-cordeiro-executive-manager-subsea-systems-petrobras Andre Lima Cordero, Executive Manager,

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