Subsea UK has eyes on Brazil

07 September 2010

A delegation from Subsea UK is heading to Brazil to explore opportunities in what is rapidly becoming one of the biggest oil and gas markets in the world. The industry body will occupy a pavilion at the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference from September 13 to 16.

Subsea UK intends to showcase some of the UK’s leading subsea expertise and technology with companies including flexlife, Hydrasun, Nautronix and SMD exhibiting.

The organisation, in association with UKT&I, has organised a presentation for these companies from Petrobras and other firms on the opportunities available and how to do business in Brazil.
Alistair Birnie, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “With future spending plans to 2013 of around $150 billion (€120 billion), Petrobras is a major player. This opportunity to meet with their upstream team is therefore hugely attractive for UK companies.”

According to a recent report by Chris Whorton for UK Energy Excellence, subsea equipment forecast spending in Brazil for the period 2009 to 2014 was estimated at around $14 billion with 90 per cent of that taking place in Brazil.

The South American country will require up to 20 per cent of the world’s production capacity of subsea Christmas trees over the next five years.

Subsea UK argues that more than 70 per cent of subsea equipment has to be manufactured in Brazil but in-country specialist steel and precision engineering companies do not have the skills and capacity to meet demand. In addition there are gaps in the Brazilian supply chain for specialist areas such as controls, sensor technologies and engineering know-how.

“UK companies have real potential to exploit these challenges,” added Birnie. “For many years the UK has been at the centre of precision engineering, forging and processing of specialist steels and corrosion resistant alloys as well as in engineering and the manufacture and design of complex controls and sensor technologies. We are well placed to forge partnerships with Brazilian companies to help them meet capacity.

“With almost 90 per cent of oil production and nearly three quarters of gas production originating from offshore fields, most at extreme depths, UK subsea manufacturing, engineering and technologies will also be welcomed.”

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