ITF encouraging developers to come forward with water production solutions for Brazil

posted 22 Oct 2013

ITF, the global technology facilitator, is calling on developers to come forward with new and innovative solutions to water production challenges in Brazil.

The not-for-profit organisation is owned by 32 international oil and gas operator and service companies and has facilitated the launch of more than 200 Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) from early stage projects through to field trials and commercialisation. ITF aims to secure a further £50million for technologies over the next three to five years, and as part of this objective, is issuing its first Call for Proposals in Brazil.

ITF member companies based in Brazil attended a Flow Assurance workshop in June where operator and service companies identified a number of concerns for operators working in the area.

In order to encourage research and development (R&D) investment in Brazil, ANP (Agência Nacional do Petróleo) - the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels - imposes a clause on exploration and production agreements, stating that at least 50% of that amount (1% of the gross revenue derived from high profitability plays which pay "special participation") should be invested in universities and other R&D related institutions authorised by ANP, 10% should be invested in innovative projects with industry and the remainder may be applied for innovative projects with industry and their own projects (by oil and gas companies). With this in mind, ITF is working in close conjunction with ANP who is encouraging all qualifying organisations to submit technology proposals in response to this call and will be providing ITF with guidance and support for the duration of the call activity.

The main challenges identified at the meeting in Rio de Janeiro covered the areas of water production, hydrates, heavy oil and thermal energy management. Water production was subsequently highlighted as the priority challenge to address, with the other concerns to be looked at through future ITF activities and Calls.

Keith Mackie, ITF’s Operations Director, said: “Whilst water is used in the production of oil and gas, it is also considered a waste product. Large amounts of water are also produced with oil, and this can potentially be contaminated with any chemicals injected into the reservoir as well as oil and solids. As a result, minimising the amount produced in the first place, and the disposal of any produced water are key challenges.

“ITF offers developers the opportunity to present their technology ideas to major oil and gas companies. If selected, they could also secure up to 100% funding to develop their technologies, whilst retaining full intellectual property rights. ANP is providing us with guidance on which submitted proposals are likely to be levy compliant.”

The invitation to respond is open to all relevant global industry sectors from small and medium sized enterprises, to academic and research institutions, and large industry players alike. However, to be eligible for funding, the project must be run in Brazil and/or the project proposer (or at least one partner) must be a Brazilian entity. The deadline for expressing an interest is November 25, 2013.