Friday, August 12, 2011

Petrobras open to LNG-FPSO

Petrobras, Brazil's state-owned oil company, said it may yet build floating factories to liquefy natural gas after rejecting the untried technology for two of its largest offshore fields.

Gas and Energy Director Maria das Gracas Foster told reporters the company would proceed with plans to review three pre-engineering designs for a floating LNG project in August, Reuters reported.

Petrobras last month said it would not install a floating LNG unit for the BM-S-9 and BM-S-11 blocks, home to the Lula and Guara fields, as originally planned. It will use a pipeline to move the field's to onshore terminals.

Gracas said the pipeline would allow the company to recover greater value from the high-value natural gas to be produced from the giant Lula and Cernambi discoveries located in BM-S-11.

"The (floating LNG) project did not consider the recovery of the ethane for Comperj," Gracas told reporters, referring to a petrochemicals project the company is developing.

The exploration and production division "will find another location that makes sense, and the (LNG-FPSO) will be sent there".

Petrobras called for the proposals in 2009 to propose competing systems in an effort to fast-track development. A winner will be announced in October, Foster said.

Three groups submitted proposals -- Technip/Modec/JGC, SBM/Chiyoda and Saipem.

Floating LNG plants seek to overcome the high cost and technical challenges of building pipelines over long distances in very deep water. Petrobras's newest fields are some of the world's deepest and farthest from shore.

Petrobras's largest new oil and gas fields rest more than 250 kilometres (155 miles) from the nearest coast, and in waters as much as 3,000 metres deep. In these conditions, water pressure can rupture conventional tubing and welds and the cold can slow or stop the flow of liquids and gasses.

Published : August 11, 2011



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