Brazil: Petrobras FPSO catches fire

A fire broke out in the engine room of the P-32 floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel operated by Brazilian oil giant Petrobras on Thursday, February 8.

Brazilian oil workers’ union Sindicato dos Petroleiros do Norte Fluminense, or Sindipetro NF for short, said the fire in the engine room occurred on Thursday morning.

According to information obtained by Sindipetro, the fire started at 10:20 am local time (1:20 pm CET) when the discharge of a diesel generator caught fire.

The flames were extinguished with a CO2 extinguisher and the situation was under control within the hour.

Sindipetro said that there were no casualties and added it was still gathering all the facts from Petrobras, which claimed that the unit was under normal operating conditions.

The P-32 FPSO is located in the Marlim field off Brazil and has already had several incidents to its name.

Namely, in August 2017, a short circuit in wiring of a light fixture outside ​​one of the maintenance storage tanks caught fire. At the time, Sindipetro said that the flames burned around two meters in height of electric wiring. The production stopped following the incident.

On June 10, 2017, another incident occurred on the same FPSO when safety protection from a ladder collapsed on the deck.

Tezeu Bezerra, Sindipetro NF coordinator, said that the union would not accept what Petrobras has been doing with its units with its arms crossed.

Bezerra added that Petrobras was leaving its units without proper maintenance and care which puts lives of its workers at risk.

Marlim field

The Marlim field development is located in the northeastern part of the Campos Basin about 110 kilometers offshore Rio de Janeiro.

The field covers an area 130 km2, with water depths ranging up to 3,300 ft. In March 1991, the floating production unit P-13 produced first oil from the field.

The field development was divided into two phases. To optimize investments and physical resources, the first development phase was divided into two modules. The first module comprised one FPU, a newly built semisubmersible P-18 and later the FPSO P-32, a former Petrobras VLCC tanker. Sixteen production wells, 12 injection wells, and a subsea manifold were connected to the FPU.

Eight FPUs are installed in Marlim, with 125 out of the total of 129 wells already producing 83 of which are production wells, 46 are water injectors, including 36 horizontal wells.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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