Driving Brazil Offshore Expansion

GE contracts to date worth more than US$600 million; building propulsion, DP systems for pre-salt oil and gas fields

Posted on April 3, 2013

In the last 12 months, GE’s Power Conversion business has won contracts valued at more than US$600 million to provide propulsion systems to customers leading the pre-salt oilfield expansion off Brazil’s east coast. GE’s systems will power, propel, navigate, position and control drillships, and also power and control the drilling process itself.

GE is in the process of building systems for 22 of the 29 drillships for the current phase of the Brazilian oil and gas exploration by Petrobras.

The four most important contracts won by GE in recent months related to the Brazilian energy corporation’s pre-salt oil and gas exploration venture include:

■Seven “Espadon 200” drillships to be built by Estaleiro Atlântico Sul (EAS) in Ipojuca, northeast Brazil, will be supplied with GE electrical power generation, propulsion, drilling drives, DP and control systems.

■Ecovix-Engevix will use integrated GE electric power and propulsion, drilling drives, DP and controls packages for three new GustoMSC PRD 12000 ultra-deepwater drillships it is building.

■Enseada do Paraguaçu Shipyard will use an integrated GE package of electric power, propulsion, drilling drives, DP and control systems for six new ultra-deepwater drilling ships (also GustoMSC PRD 12000 design) it is building in Maragogipe, northeast Brazil.

■Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. will use GE’s thruster power, propulsion and drilling drive technology for six new, semisubmersible drilling rigs being built for Petrobras.

Petrobras said it is searching for hydrocarbons up to 300 km off the coast of Brazil, in rock formations up to 5 km below the seabed and in water depths of up to 2000 m. The pre-salt layer holds an estimated 10 to 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Exploration and recovery of these reserves are expected to require the construction of around 40 new drilling vessels between now and 2020.