Brazil Operations


The sky actually was the limit on a recent Saturday on the semisubmersible rig Sedco 710, when a gloomy day threatened to put a damper on the crew’s weekly churrasco (barbeque). But in true Brazilian fashion, nothing was coming between the team and their festa, which kicked off right on schedule. As Transocean beefs up its operation offshore Brazil, this same attitude applies to the company’s work in the region, focus on safer operations and the career opportunities available to employees. Rain or shine, nothing can stop the Brazil team from achieving success.







to understand the growth opportunities that have arisen offshore Brazil, you’ve got to look down: way down into the depths of the Santos, Campos and Espirito Santo Basins where Transocean customer Petrobras and others have made giant discoveries in a “pre-salt” layer that stretches nearly 500 miles (800 kilometers) off Brazil’s southern coast.

With the first signs of oil dating back to 2005, and billions of barrels of oil officially discovered at Santos’s Tupi Field in late 2007, the pre-salt layer – and all the related excitement it’s caused – isn’t exactly new news.

What continues to make headlines are the additional pre-salt discoveries made by Brazilian petroleum powerhouse Petrobras, as well as other operators that the Brazilian government opened the door to back in 2000 (when Brazil, and Transocean, saw its first big boom there). Transocean customer BG (page 14), for instance, announced a 1-2 billion barrel discovery on September 9. Today the Tupi Field contains an estimated 5-8 billion barrels, with the pre-salt layer estimated to contain 14 billion barrels.

Then, there’s the money being spent to get to the oil. Petrobras alone reported earlier this year that company investments in the pre-salt layer would reach nearly $29 billion by 2013. The company also has plans to build 28 newbuild rigs.





Shipyard work aboard the Transocean Driller


“The pre-salt area has become a golden opportunity for the oil business,” said Alberto Garcia, Operations Manager, Asset. “It’s the second time that I can see Brazil as one of the best markets in the world.”

But with all of the celebration over the discoveries, operators face a harsh reality: the pre-salt reservoirs are, to put it mildly, difficult to get to: 1. they’re formed by carbonatic rock that experts don’t yet know much about; and 2. they’re located far beneath the seafloor (16,000 feet), which begins about 6,500 feet underwater.

This poses an enormous technical challenge … and requires the most experienced service providers, like Transocean, to help ensure our customer’s success.

“I have full confidence in the team that we have here,” said South America Division Managing Director Guilherme Coelho. “It’s a great team that’s up to the challenges ahead.”



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