Petrobras is looking to improve its cutting-edge Hi-Sep system to allow for a greater reduction in carbon intensity when the technology becomes operational at the Mero pre-salt field offshore Brazil in 2025.

The Hi-Sep technology is focused on the dense separation of associated gas with carbon dioxide content through the use of subsea centrifugal pumps.

The Brazilian oil giant is currently laying the grounds for a tender to select a company to supply the unit.

Three groups have been vying for the chance to supply Petrobras with the project. Aker Solutions has teamed up with Saipem, while Subsea 7 joined forces with OneSubsea.

TechnipFMC is preparing a solo bid.

The tender process has been pushed back to the end of the year in response to volatile pricing and supply chain constraints following on from the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, project sources told Upstream.

Hi-Sep was originally designed to cut carbon intensity by 4% but Petrobras chief sustainability officer Rafael Chaves said the company has now a more ambitious goal.

“We are aiming for a 6% to 7% reduction in carbon intensity with the Hi-Sep technology and we are being very conservative with that estimate,” Chaves told an audience at the ONS 2022 conference in Stavanger, Norway.

The Hi-Sep technology takes advantage of the liquid-like behaviour of CO2 in a dense phase, produced by certain pressure and temperature conditions.

This allows manipulation and reinjection of CO2-enriched associated gas, while the oil would have a gas ratio about a third of what it was previously.

The patented Petrobras technology is initially meant to be installed at the Mero-3 pre-salt project, due to enter operation in 2024 via the Marechal Duque de Caxias floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

The Hi-Sep is to be implemented at Mero-3 on the following year.

If successful, Petrobras envisions Hi-Sep being utilised in the future at other fields, namely Jupiter, Buzios and potential new pre-salt discoveries featuring a high gas-to-oil ratio and contaminants.

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