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Sapura and Constellation perform pioneering thruster exchange operation offshore.

Unprecedented maneuver in the offshore market reduces downtime for the drilling unit and brings safety gains.

In February, Sapura and Constellation completed a groundbreaking thruster exchange operation offshore on the drillship Laguna Star, under contract with Petrobras, about 200km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The operation, conducted in a water depth of over 2,000 meters, was carried out without the need for the drilling unit to be brought to shore, resulting in reduced downtime – which could reach 30 days – as well as increased safety, as it requires fewer divers and work hours for the professionals involved.

The maneuver was considered a milestone for the Brazilian offshore oil and gas industry. Thruster replacement activities in the country were previously only carried out in sheltered waters. The equipment, weighing around 61 tons, is a propulsion item for the drillship and provides force and thrust direction to the dynamic positioning system.

„The knowledge we have built over more than 40 years of operations on the Brazilian coast, encompassing technical and operational challenges, enabled us to carry out this pioneering maneuver with excellence and safety. We are proud to participate in breaking yet another paradigm for the country’s oil and gas industry,“ emphasizes Rodrigo Ribeiro, CEO of Constellation.

The procedure generated substantial financial savings for Constellation and reduced diving man-hours by almost 150 times, an activity with high-risk exposure. Six divers were mobilized – replacing the thruster in sheltered waters would require about 60 professionals, as additional interventions on the hull would be required. Pre-positioning maneuver tests and engineering studies, wave movement, and wind speed were necessary. The exchange operation lasted 40 hours and involved four vessels: the Laguna Star, the Sapura Ônix pipe laying support vessel (PLSV), the AHTS tugboat CBO Valletta, and the Miami Blue diving boat. During the intervention to replace the equipment, the Laguna Star and Sapura Ônix were positioned just 15 meters apart.

„Sapura takes immense pride in including this work on our list of pioneering engineering projects. It represented a challenge that required extensive research, dedication, and commitment from our team. And once again, we have demonstrated that we are committed to overcoming challenges, prioritizing safety and excellence. I sincerely thank the teams involved in the project, which has already made its mark on Sapura’s history and the entire sector,“ says Rogerio Salbego, CEO of Sapura.

Sapura Ônix is a vessel designed for flexible pipe laying and handling, but it has evolved to handle special underwater engineering projects, like the rest of the Sapura fleet. With two remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), it can operate in waters up to 3,000 meters deep. The Laguna Star, on the other hand, is a DP drillship designed to operate in ultra-deep waters with depths of up to 10,000 feet, typical of the pre-salt, with a drilling depth capability of up to 40,000 feet.

Andere Neuigkeiten
Pressebüro

Orla Comunicação Integrada 
+55 21 97228-7848 (WhatsApp)
sapura@orlacomunicacao.com.br