Rolls-Royce marine technology enables deep sea oil exploration off the coast of Brazil

Friday, 22 May 2009

Rolls-Royce has secured a £38 million contract to supply a newly-developed anchor handling system that will enable floating oil platforms to be secured to the seabed in the extreme depths off the coast of Brazil.

The system has been developed in response to the increase in deep water oil exploration and will be fitted to two vessels serving platforms owned by Brazilian oil company Petrobas.

The vessels are currently under construction by STX Brasil Offshore and each one will carry more than 1,000 tonnes of Rolls-Royce equipment.

The equipment package includes winches specially designed for the manoeuvre and installation of torpedo anchors. Weighing in at 130 tonnes each, the torpedo anchors have been developed by Petrobras. By penetrating the seabed, they give a secure fixing for the heavy-duty cables used to keep oil platforms in position.

The powerful Rolls-Royce winches are each capable of handling anchors down to depths of 3,000 metres – equivalent to more than four times the height of Rio’s Corcovado mountain.

Ottar Antonsen, Rolls-Royce Sales Manager – Deck Machinery, said: “We have been part of the Brazilian offshore market for over 25 years, and this latest contract demonstrates customer confidence in the capabilities of our equipment.

“As oil and gas exploration focuses on more extreme locations around the world, we’ve responded by leading the technological developments that will enable oil companies to extract oil in the most challenging of seabed conditions.

“During our time in Brazil, we have built a strong relationship with Petrobras, and will soon be further enhancing our customer support in the region when we open our new Marine Service Centre in Rio.”

When complete, each vessel will feature a deck machinery package and equipment designed to enhance safety of operations at sea. In addition to winches, Rolls-Royce will supply anchor handling cranes, stern rollers, towing and stopping pins, and a pennant winder and spooling sheave.

Rolls-Royce also supplies Petrobas with power generation and compressor systems, and since the 1950s has built a broad customer base in Brazil’s civil and defence aerospace sectors.

  1. The Marine business of Rolls-Royce employs 8,000 people in 34 countries with the main manufacturing centres being in the UK, the Nordic countries, the United States and increasingly Asia.
  2. Rolls-Royce is a world leader in marine solutions, providing products, service and expertise to more than 30,000 vessels in the offshore, merchant, naval surface and submarine markets. It designs ships and its product range includes propulsion systems featuring diesel engines and gas turbines, propellers, thrusters and water jets. Rolls-Royce also provides manoeuvring and stabilising systems and deck machinery. Around 30 per cent of Marine turnover is derived from service support activity, with a global network of sales and service offices in 34 countries. Rolls-Royce equipment is in service with more than 70 navies.
  3. The Rolls-Royce Group has a broad customer base including more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 main customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries. With facilities in 50 countries, Rolls-Royce employs 39,000 people worldwide and has businesses headquartered in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia, Singapore and China. This global presence allows the Group to access long-term international growth opportunities.
  4. Rolls-Royce has been supplying products and services to customers in Brazil since the 1950s. The main customer in civil aerospace is TAM, which employs Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines in its A340s and V2500 engines in its Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s.The Brazilian Air Force has been using Rolls-Royce engines since 1953 and the Brazilian Navy uses a large fleet of Rolls-Royce gas turbines to power its frigates under a long term service agreement. In the energy sector, Rolls-Royce supplies Petrobas with offshore electrical power generation systems and centrifugal gas compressors for the land-based Gasene pipeline project.
  5. Rolls-Royce continues to invest in core technologies, products, people and capabilities with the objective of broadening and strengthening the product portfolio, improving efficiency and enhancing the environmental performance of its products.
  6. In 2008, Rolls-Royce invested over £885 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products. The primary technology investment area is aimed at reducing noise and emissions.
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