Fossil energy – Brazil
McDermott International has been awarded a $800 million contract from Petrobras for the replacement of compromised flexible pipes in a quintet of floating production, storage and offloading FPSO vessels in the giant Tupi pre-salt field offshore Brazil.
The Brazilian state-controlled company offered an EPCI contract designed to switch old flexibles for more resistant rigid risers featuring a pioneering titanium subsea technology.
After a first round of negotiations with McDermott, which submitted the best commercial proposal in the tender, Petrobras approached second-place bidder TechnipFMC to seek a better deal but could not secure a lower price.
Petrobras opted to go back to McDermott and the two sides have reached an understanding.
The goal of the project is to replace flexible lines that have suffered a curtailed field life and prevent potential future problems related to the phenomenon of stress-induced corrosion cracking from transported supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) caused by the presence of high levels of the contaminant in the natural gas.
The patented Titanium Pull-In Tube (TiPT) technology will see McDermott replacing some existing flexible pipes that are connected to the P-66, P-67, P-69, Cidade de Saquarema and Cidade de Marica FPSOs for rigid risers featuring titanium stress joints using a special alloy made of ruthenium on the top of each line.
TiPT will serve as an adaptor to allow the installation of rigid lines at FPSOs that have a riser balcony projected to receive flexible pipes only.
The Tupi contract workscope calls for the conversion of 15 water injection wells into water-alternating-gas injection wells.
The new WAG Full Field pilot project at Tupi will see Petrobras installing 11 rigid risers running 98 kilometres long using the TiPT interface.
Petrobras estimates the Tupi TiPT project to be implemented in late 2023, thus leading to significant savings in pipe integrity management and maximising the field’s recovery factor.