Petrobras and FMC Technologies have signed a technological co-operation agreement to deploy the world's first subsea oil-water separator system to be used for heavy oil in deep waters. The contract, valued at approximately US$ 90 million in revenue to FMC Technologies, is for the provision of the subsea separation and pumping system for the Marlim field, located in the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil.
The subsea separation system
The subsea system will separate heavy oil, gas, sand and water at a water depth of approximately 2950 ft (900 m). The system will allow for a significant reduction in the amount of water that is produced and reaches the platform. This, in turn, will increase the installed infrastructure's oil treatment capacity and help boost the recovery factor (the amount of oil that can be extracted). Additionally, it may simplify the production systems (platforms) since, among other advantages, the separator is installed on the seabed.
- It is the first deepwater deployment of subsea separation technologies in a mature field.
- The first separation of heavy oil and water in a subsea environment in the world.
- The first separation system to include subsea reinjection of water into a reservoir to boost production.
The agreement was signed at Petrobras' main office building in Rio de Janeiro. The event was attended by Petrobras E&P area's executive manager for Production Engineering, Solange Guedes, by the CEO of FMC Technologies Brasil, Nelson Leite, and by other E&P, Cenpes, and FMC staff involved in the project.
During the event, Solange Guedes highlighted the importance of developing seabed technological solutions for the Campos Basin. ‘The subsea solution, in addition to affording longevity to the Campos Basin, increases the recovery factor,’ she said.
The equipment will be jointly engineered between FMC’s operations in Brazil, Norway and The Netherlands. Final manufacturing and integration activities will be performed at the company’s Rio de Janeiro facility, with deliveries projected to begin in 2011.