Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has been awarded a 30 million Euro contract by the state-owned Brazilian company Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) to supply umbilicals for the Mexilhão gas field in the Santos Basin, off the coast of the state of São Paulo. Nexans is supplying two different umbilical designs, totalling around 59 km in length, to connect the fixed platform to the subsea manifold and the manifold to the individual wellheads. Delivery should commence in Q4 2008, and the umbilicals should be shipped to the Petrobras base in Vitória/ES (state of Espirito Santo) Brazil.
The Nexans umbilicals will be used to provide electronic control of systems on the sea bed, and hydraulic and chemical liquid injection. The Mexilhão project is particularly challenging due to the high temperatures (+130°C at the well heads) and working pressures (10,000 psi) involved, which require very thick steel tube walls.
"Nexans was selected because, among the companies invited for the bidding process, we were the only company technically qualified and able to supply these types of umbilicals", says Patrick Barth, Nexans HV & Accessories Managing Director. "We have had a long and successful working partnership with Petrobras and are delighted that they chose us for this contract. The maximum water depth in this project is around 500 m, however we are carrying out dynamic verification tests to 1,500 m to ensure they are fully qualified for similar projects in the future at much greater water depths."
"Two umbilicals each around 22 km in length, will run from platform, at a depth of 170 m, to the manifold at 500 m, which is the control/distribution unit on the sea bed. A further seven umbilicals, totalling nearly 15 km, will then run from the manifold to the seven well heads," adds Nexans' Project Manager, Per Johansen.
The Mexilhão umbilicals will be made at Nexans factory based in Halden, Norway. Petrobras is one of the largest oil companies in the world, mainly operating within Brazil. Delivery of the first gas from this field is due to commence in April 2009, coming ashore in the state of São Paulo, one of the biggest states in Brazil, with large industrial zones and dense population.