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Petrobas On the Future of FPSOs and the Own or Rent Conundrum

Contributor: Oil & Gas IQ
Posted: 06/03/2013
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Tim Haidar: Hello and welcome this is Tim Haidar for Oil & Gas IQ. Today I’m talking with Carlos Mastrangelo, facilities manager at Petrobras America. Carlos, thanks very much for being on the show.

Carlos Mastrangelo: Thank you, Tim.

Tim Haidar: Carlos, let’s start off with explaining a little bit about what you do at Petrobras America and then without giving the whole game away talking a little bit about your presentation that you’re going to be giving at the FPSO Congress.

Carlos Mastrangelo: Yeah sure, Tim. I worked as a Resource Manager on the operational side, then I moved to the headquarters with the more of a regulatory focus preparing guidelines for the company. I have been working at Petrobras for 26 years and that goes back to the 80s. And I moved to the US in 2006 starting activities for our oil fields and deep water off of Mexico cascade preparing strategies for field development.

My talk at the FPSO Congress will mix strategy and technical input. Talking about strategies to proceed to develop oil fields, companies usually have processes typical to each company.

We have option to own or to rent the unit. That is part of the selection process. This selection process is sometimes difficult for the company to decide. We’re trying to put forward the pros and cons of each one. And I really believe there is room for both types of unit. This type of selection requires some commitment. It’s just not a matter of preparing specs.

The specification itself requires a contract. Many times the contract is seen as being outside of the game, but it plays an important part of the strategy. I believe that the specification, contract, terms and conditions are almost on the same level of importance.

Tim Haidar: FPSOs have really taken off as one of the primary methods for oil companies across the world to exploit oil fields. Just how important do you think FPSOs are for Petrobras going forward?

Carlos Mastrangelo: Petrobras has a long history in FPSOs, we are one of the pioneers with generations of history in FPSOs. At first, FPSOs were seen as very small units to exploit marginal oil fields. I think the idea breaks through that stereotype in the end of the 80s and the beginning of 90s. It was from the beginning of 90s that it started to boom and it is feasible for many applications. You go to deep water that usually has its restrictions in terms of loads and you can go as deep as you want with an FPSO.

The limitations themselves are now is in terms of the risers, but the unit itself is safe and suitable a lot of applications. Now, we are entering in a new phase - standardisation.

FPSO has a big role to play in future deep water exploitation. It’s flexible, has a very high performance and efficiency. It’s basically one of the best, if not the most convenient way to exploit oil fields.

Tim Haidar: Carlos, thank you very much for your time today.

Carlos Mastrangelo: Thank you, Tim.

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Contributor: Oil & Gas IQ