Total tests groundbreaking system of oil offloading in Brazil
Total is testing a groundbreaking system for performing oil offloading operations, using a CTV-type vessel (Cargo Transfer Vessel), the ship Sealoader-1, which was built specifically for this activity. The project is in the phase of operational tests, which began this month in the Lapa Field (Santos Basin Pre-Salt), the first asset in production operated by Total in Brazil. The aim is to analyze the integration and functionality of the CTV in oil offloading operations from the FPSO Cidade de Caraguatatuba.
The operational concept of the CTV is on the cutting edge of offshore oil offloading operations. In the new form of offloading that is being tested by Total in the Lapa Field, the entire operation is performed at the site of the field: the oil is transferred from the FPSO through the CTV to the tanker ship that carries the load to its final destination. Whereas in conventional operation with use of a DPST ship (Dynamic Positioning Shuttle Tanker), currently one of the most used by E&P companies in Brazil, the oil is transferred from the FPSO to the DPST at the field location and afterwards a ship-to-ship operation is performed, to then transfer the oil to the tanker ship.
In this way, once it is successful in all of its testing phases, operation with the CTV will eliminate the need for a complete trip of the tanker ship in the logistics of exporting crude oil, bringing important advantages, such as: minimizing the risks of an operation of loading/offloading, avoiding emissions from a trip of the tanker ship with an average duration of 7 days, cutting the costs of chartering vessels, and reducing the time of production commercialization.
“Total is a pioneer in the evaluation of the use of the CTV for oil offloading in Brazil, as it is the first time the vessel has been used to perform this type of operation in the country. This is a multidisciplinary project that involved our specialists teams from Logistics, Commercial and Operations, in Brazil and abroad, along with partner companies, in a joint effort under development since 2015 to study the technical aspects and to plan the tests with safety. The start of the testing phase in Lapa is an important milestone, and we are confident of the success of this operation,” says Philippe Blanchard, General Director of Total E&P do Brasil and representative of the Total Group in the country.
This is the second stage of the CTV tests. This stage contemplates, among different activities, field tests, tests of telemetry systems and emergency drills. The CTV was built in China and approved in sea trials, concluded in July 2018.
The scheduled tests follow the current Brazilian regulation and international safety protocols, which is one of the pillars of Total’s E&P activities around the world. The planning of this project also affords operational sustainability by promoting a reduction of CO2 emissions. The technology present is also an ally for the safety and sustainability of the operation: the battery of the CTV allows control of emissions and a reduction of energy consumption.