ABB to provide electrical systems for three Brazilian FPSO

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Three Petrobras oil fields to be developed with floating vessels powered by ABB’s high-performance, low-risk E-house technology

ABB has completed four electrification contracts with a combined value of $42m for three clients who are working in Brazil’s offshore oil industry.

Two of the packages are for the deepwater Pappa-Terra heavy crude field in the Campos Basin. This reservoir, located 110 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, was the target of a $5.3 billion development program led by Petrobras.

One of the floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) deployed to the field was the Petrobras-63, a converted tanker formerly known as the BW Nisa. In 2010, ABB won one contract with the QUIP consortium to install its main electrical generation and distribution systems, and a second with marine engineer TechnipFMC to add a heating module to its riser.

The main power system was delivered in one of ABB’s patented E-houses – a steel box that arrives on site with all its equipment already fitted and tested. The heating system was necessary because highly viscous crude had to be lifted through a water depth of 1.2 km.

P-63 has the capacity to process 140,000 barrels of oil and compress a million cubic meters of gas a day. It was successfully commissioned in 2013 and has since enabled Petrobras to reach its 2017 production target of 2.75 million barrels for Pappa-Terra, despite the reservoir’s deep water, high viscosity and low pressure.

The other two contracts were for Dutch marine engineering group SBM Offshore. SBM has been a pioneer in the development of FPSOs, and both contracts were to install electrical systems in vessels in its fleet.

One was for an upgrade to the Cidade de Paraty, a vessel that is leased to Petrobras for 20 years, and which will be moored over on the Lula Nordeste development, around 250 km from Rio de Janeiro. This unit will operate in 2.1 km of water, producing 150,000 barrels of oil a day from 15 wells, as well as feeding 15 gas lift risers and injecting 150,000 barrels of water into the reservoir.

The other was for the Cidade de Anchieta, a slightly larger vessel that was upgraded after 11 years’ work on Petrobras’ Espadarte field. This was dispatched in 2012 to the newly developed Baleia Azul (Blue Whale) field 80 km off the coast of Brazil. It is now the sole production platform for the field, controlling 39 risers, producing 100,000 barrels of oil and 3.5 million cubic meters of gas a day.  

Main data




Two contracts are for the Pappa-Terra field, one for the Lula Nordeste field and one for the Baleia Azul field

Customer need:  The FPSO contracts involved either fitting a power generation and distribution system in a newly built vessel, installing one in a converted oil tanker, or rewiring an existing system. The forth contract was for a module to heat a riser to improve the flow of heavy crude
Scope:     Installing a full range of generating and distribution systems in the form of modular E-houses
Application:  Offshore oil production
Customer benefits:
ABB has built up a long track record of fitting power systems to FPSOs, and our clients for these jobs were able to count on our engineers and our technology to deliver systems that have since operated efficiently for many years 
Operational: 2010

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