MODEC cleaning up after oil spill on Petrobras field off Brazil

Japanese FPSO operator MODEC is working to clean up and disperse the remaining oil following an oil spill on the Petrobras-operated Espadarte field offshore Brazil last Friday.

FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro; Source: MODEC

Operated by Modec and serving Petrobras since 2007, the FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro ended its production cycle in July 2018 and has been in the process of demobilization since then.

Last Friday, August 23 MODEC informed Petrobras that, after inspection at the external tanks, cracks were identified at the hull of FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, at the Espadarte field, in the Campos Basin, 130 km off the coast of Brazil.

During the previous weekend, 1.2 cubic meters of residual oil leaked from the unit, which was identified and recovered.

On Tuesday, August 27 MODEC reported that the vessel FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro was stable and in normal draught and inclination conditions at the Campus Basin.

An overflight undertaken on Tuesday observed a significant reduction of the oil slick, and the slick was approximately 0.4 m³ in size.

On Wednesday, August 28 MODEC said that a salvage crew had embarked at FPSO Cidade do Rio de Janeiro to evaluate the vessel’s conditions and determine the best strategy for concluding the decommissioning and removal of the platform.

From this assessment, MODEC and Petrobras will be able to define the best strategy to decommission and remove the FPSO unit.

The damage to the vessel’s hull has progressed, but it remains confined to a single tank, which is a stable scenario, according to the FPSO operator. The draft and inclination conditions remain stable, the company added.

An aerial observation conducted at the location concluded that the oil sheen remains the same. Supporting ships are working to clean and disperse the remaining product.