GE Selected To Aid Petrobras Pre-Salt Drilling Initiatives
Company will supply electrical power generation, drilling technology
To support Petrobras’ pre-salt drilling initiatives, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd., a designer and manufacturer of mobile offshore rigs, has selected GE’s Power Conversion business to supply the electrical power generation, thruster and drilling drive technology for six new semisubmersible drilling rigs for Brazil.
Keppel Offshore & Marine recently secured contracts from Sete Brasil Participações S.A. for the design and construction of semisubmersible drilling rigs based on Keppel’s proprietary DSS 38E design. With the first rig scheduled to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2015, the deepwater drilling rigs will support the exploration of Brazil’s estimated 50 billion barrels of deep-sea oil and gas reserves. GE’s equipment will be delivered in phases between 2012 and 2016.
This project will enable the development of the pre-salt area in Brazil. Pre-salt refers to a formation of rocks located offshore in a large portion of the Brazilian coast, which have the potential to generate and accumulate oil. It is called pre-salt because the rock has formed under an extensive layer of salt, which in certain areas of the coast can be as much as 2000 m thick. The oil reservoirs themselves can be up to 5000 m below sea level, GE said.
Extending 500 miles across the Santos, Campos and Espirito Santo basins, Brazil’s pre-salt fields hold an estimated 10 to 16 billion barrels. Exploration and recovery of these reserves will require the construction of around 40 new drilling vessels (drill ships and semisubmersibles) between now and 2020.