Marine technology company Sonardyne has announced that the next phase of the On Demand OBN (OD OBN) project is under way in Brazil.  

The offshore seismic monitoring initiative, which focuses on the offshore oil and gas industry, began in 2018.  

This collaborative effort includes Shell Brasil Petróleo, Petrobras and SENAI CIMATEC and is supported by the Brazilian National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP). 

Sonardyne described OD OBN nodes as the future generation of geophysical monitoring systems in the offshore oil and gas industry. 

These nodes utilise the company’s proprietary optical and acoustic communications technologies to offer a versatile, cost-economical and durable solution for time-lapse seismic and subsidence monitoring of producing reservoirs.  

They are said to have better data quality and the ability to operate autonomously on the ocean floor for up to five years. 

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The data retrieval process from these nodes involves Sonardyne’s water optical communications system, which transmits information to an autonomous underwater vehicle such as the Flatfish.  

The Flatfish is a product of a collaboration between Saipem and SENAI CIMATEC, developed under another ANP-funded programme sponsored by Shell and Petrobras. 

ENAI CIMATEC and Petrobras finalised contracts for this current phase in August 2023, while Shell, SENAI CIMATEC and Sonardyne signed agreements in April 2024. 

These agreements will lead to the production of a pilot array of 600 prototype nodes, with deployment expected at the end of 2025 in a preselected offshore field in Brazil. 

The manufacturing of the pilot array is set to take place at the newly established pilot plant at CIMATEC PARK in the industrial region of Camaçari, near Salvador, Brazil.  

Shell and Petrobras have already conducted trials with OD OBN prototypes during conventional OBN seismic campaigns at Sapinhoá and Itapu, in waters deeper than 2,000m off the coast of Brazil.  

Upon completion, Petrobras, the state-owned petroleum company, plans to deploy the pilot array at an offshore field in the pre-salt region south of Rio de Janeiro. 

The production of the pilot array at CIMATEC PARK is anticipated to begin later in 2024. 

Petrobras research centre senior geophysicist advisor Alexandre Silva said: “The OD OBN technology will be important in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions during our seismic acquisition operations offshore. Besides that, it will provide a higher level of automation in our seismic field activities, which will lead Petrobras and partners to be more efficient in reservoir seismic monitoring processes in the Brazilian pre-salt area.”