The Buzios field, in the Santos Basin pre-salt, has gained an extra highlight this week of OTC Houston 2021. Petrobras won the Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, the main award in the offshore industry, for the technological innovations implemented in the exploration and production of the field. Currently with four units in production, Buzios should receive up to eight new platform ships over the next 10 years. A part of this new generation of FPSOs in the area is already contracted (P-78 and P-79) or is still in the contracting process (P-80). With the lessons learned in the first platforms in the field, Petrobras developed a series of concepts aimed at the continuous improvement and standardization of these future units. Details of the new generation of FPSOs were presented during the OTC by the general manager of construction, assembly and commissioning of Petrobras units in the Santos Basin, Marcio Mattoso.

The company’s next generation FPSOs, Mattoso said, need to deal with the reduction of the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) contaminant, going from around 200 ppm to 5 ppm, in order to allow the export of gas in subsea pipelines. Therefore, the new FPSOs of the state-owned company will have an amine absorption system, which is already used in other Petrobras units, with good experiences so far. The company is also working on the development of a membrane to remove H2S. “For the near future, we intend to use multipurpose membranes with a new technology. We are working with the market to make this a reality. It is our purpose for the medium term in the future”, detailed Mattoso.

The oil company manager also explained about the news in the upcoming hulls of future FPSOs in Buzios. Petrobras already has previous experience in using hull standardization with Replicant FPSOs (P-66 to P-71). When it has the 12 platforms in Buzios operating, the field’s production may exceed the level of 2 million barrels per day. Before that, in 2025, the area will already be responsible for 36% of the company’s production in the pre-salt.

“In Buzios, a large volume of recoverable oil requires a complex topside associated with a large FPSO production capacity. The ability to store the produced oil becomes a key issue with regard to offloading logistics. The hull corresponds to about 80% of the weight of the FPSO which, in the case of Buzios, has an expected useful life of 30 years. Therefore, we decided to develop standardized hulls with high capacity”, said Mattoso.

The executive also mentioned that a highlight in the development of this engineering solution for the next generation of FPSOs was the massive use of digital tools, some of them developed internally at Petrobras, allowing for a shorter duration of any small adaptations in the near future. “We estimate that we have reduced development time in hull engineering by 50% compared to conventional ones,” he added.

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