MCDERMOTT GETS TUPI RISER EXCHANGE CONTRACT

(PetroleoHoje) McDermott will be responsible for the campaign to replace part of the flexible risers in the Tupi field with rigid lines. After months of negotiations, the company and Petrobras reached an agreement to contract the service, after the group presented the lowest price in the oil company’s bid.

Officially, the two companies do not confirm the conclusion of the deal, but sources involved assure that the negotiations have already been completed, depending only on final arrangements for signing the contract. After three months of negotiations, the value will be closed at around US$ 800 million.

The campaign will involve the replacement of 11 flexible Tupi pipelines, which will require around 98 km of new lines. Governed under the invitation letter model, the bid was launched at the end of December, with the delivery of proposals initially scheduled for mid-March, a deadline that ended up being postponed to May.

McDermott’s name had been considered the winner for some time, and in early August rumors surfaced that Petrobras had summoned TechnipFMC, runner-up in the bid, to negotiate in an attempt to secure even lower prices. The initiative had no effect and the oil company resumed negotiations with the first place.

Structured under the EPC model, the contract will include the supply of rigid lines, buoys, launch boat connectors and the entire campaign execution service. The activity on the lease is scheduled to start between the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024.

The contract marks the first Petrobras initiative to replace part of the pre-salt lines due to wear and tear. The Tupi operation promises to be the first of a wave, in view of the CO2 corrosion problems detected in the flexible lines of the oil company’s projects in the pre-salt.

The operation in the Tupi field will involve lines from more than one production unit. The campaign will be aimed at own and chartered FPSO risers.

The first signs of corrosion in the flexible lines of the pre-salt cluster projects were detected by Petrobras around 2016. At the time, the oil company, together with then Technip, the riser supplier, carried out a detailed mapping to assess the technical conditions of all installed lines. After the work, the two companies exchanged some damaged flexible lines for new flexible risers.

The problems were caused by a phenomenon known as stress-corrosion cracking by CO2. Most of the damage was found in the tensile reinforcement material.

Since then, systematic inspections have been carried out on flexible pre-salt lines. At the beginning of the development of the first projects in the cluster, Petrobras favored the use of flexible lines, to the detriment of rigid risers.

The last problem with the pre-salt flexible riser occurred in early 2020, when the gas injection line connected to the FPSO Cidade de Angra dos Reis, in the Lula field, ruptured.

With the Tupi service, McDermott will have two major contracts with Petrobras. At the moment, the group is executing the Surf contract for the FPSO Carioca, recently installed in the Sépia field, in the Santos Basin.

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