Equinor starts offshore installation campaign in the Bacalhau field

(TN) Equinor has started the offshore installation campaign in the Bacalhau field, located in the Santos Basin. The work is performed under an integrated EPCI (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation) contract with SIA – Subsea Integration Alliance, an alliance between OneSubsea® and Subsea7.

Seven Pacific, Subsea7’s construction/flex-lay vessel, capable of operating at depths of up to three thousand meters, is the first offshore installation vessel working on the asset, installing the SURF  infrastructure (subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines ). The campaign must be concluded in two years.

In addition to Seven Pacific, three other main construction vessels will work at Bacalhau to complete the field to receive the FPSO, along with other support vessels. At the same time, the area is also receiving West Saturn, the first Bacalhau drilling rig, which has been working since November 2022 in the drilling phase of the field. Valaris DS-17, the second drilling rig, will begin operations this year.

As part of the project, Equinor is supporting a scientific alliance between Subsea7 and the National Oceanography Center – NOC, the BORA Blue Ocean Research Alliance®, financing and adapting a BORAbox® to Seven Pacific, a device that will collect data on Essential Ocean Variables ( EOV) in the field. The BORAbox® consists of pH and total alkalinity (TA) sensors and a CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth) sensor to provide temperature, salinity and depth measurements, which transmit data on a daily basis. As part of day-to-day operations, data is being successfully transferred to scientists, parallel to the operational period.

This is a great example of collaboration between Equinor, Subsea7 and its science partner the National Oceanography Centre, supporting the companies’ focus on sustainability, to learn more about the ocean, which is of utmost importance for understanding the impact of climate change on ecosystems and the environment. Data from the Seven Pacific campaign will be accessible to local Brazilian and global scientists and universities to better understand our oceans.

“The start of the offshore campaign is a very relevant milestone for Bacalhau, which is a key project for Equinor. The offshore installation campaign is another step on the journey to be the first international operator to develop a field in the Brazilian pre-salt To enable safe and sustainable project execution, it is essential that we can support society with ocean data”, says Trond Stokka Meling, Bacalhau Project Director.

“Subsea Integration Alliance projects take us to areas of the ocean rarely visited by scientists. By adding innovative sensors to ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles), we can collect data in inaccessible locations, extending the global reach of ocean observations. Focusing on ocean variables (EOVs), the measurements will have a high impact on a global scale. The data collected is shared and analyzed by oceanographic scientists at the National Oceanography Centre. All validated information is formally made available to the global scientific community,” said Olivier Blaringhem, CEO of Subsea Integration Alliance.

Bacalhau is a world-class asset in the Brazilian pre-salt area, in the Santos Basin. It is the first project to be developed by an international operator in Brazil’s pre-salt and where Equinor uses its global competence and local knowledge to generate value and ensure low emissions. Bacalhau will generate positive effects on the supply chain and local employment opportunities. The project is expected to generate around three thousand jobs during its development phase, which means local value for Brazil.

Located 185 km off the coast of the municipality of Ilhabela, state of São Paulo, Bacalhau is a high quality carbonate reservoir, containing light oil with minimal contaminants. The field will have one of the largest FPSOs in Brazil with a production capacity of 220,000 barrels per day and a 15.0 mm scm³/d gas handling/injection system.

The Bacalhau FPSO will be the first of its kind in Brazil to use combined cycle turbines, a methodology that improves energy efficiency by reducing CO2 emissions by 110,000 tons per year.

Partners in Bacalhau: Equinor 40% (operator), ExxonMobil 40%, Petrogal Brasil 20% and Pré-sal Petróleo SA (Government Company).

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