The 1% royalty levy that Brazil uses to fund oil and gas research and development, applied in circumstances where leading operators are working together to solve pre-salt challenges, is starting to produce some interesting new developments, writes Gareth Chetwynd.

A key area of research for Petrobras, Shell and other partners in the first phase of pre-salt development is the issue of riser inspection due to the discovery of stress-induced corrosion cracking on flexible gas risers in the Lula and Sapinhoa pre-salt fields.