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Petrobras (PBR) to Develop Advanced Subsea Pumping Technology

Petrobras S.A. PBR, the Brazilian state-owned energy giant, has joined forces with Curtiss-Wright Corporation CW to proceed with the development of a fully electric subsea pumping system. The system will be designed to make it significantly less reliant on the production platform.

The partnership has decided to use hermetically sealed (canned) motors instead of traditional mechanical seals for the subsea pumping motors. This should significantly increase the efficiency and reliability of the pumping system. Increased reliability means fewer unplanned disruptions, thereby reducing subsequent production losses for the company. Additionally, these subsea pumping motors can extract a mixture of raw oil and gas from water depths of up to 4,921 feet.

In a press release, Petrobras stated that the new equipment is aimed at reducing the cost associated with vessels and reviving old, mature fields. The new pumping system will also facilitate production over long subsea flowlines that connect the well directly to the platform.

Petrobras and Curtiss-Wright have stated their plans to start prototype testing of this technology in 2026. The testing is expected to take place in the Jubarte and Espadarte fields, located in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil. The companies have further stated that the technology could be introduced in the market as early as 2028, if the testing proves to be a success.

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Subsea pumping systems are useful in pumping the reservoir fluid to the platform at increased flow rates. However, with the current technology available in the market, these pumps have a short lifespan of approximately three years and can cost nearly $70 million to exchange them at the end of their service. Petrobras has highlighted that with the development of the new technology, the lifespan of these pumps could be doubled.

The new pumping system may share similarities with other motors available on the market, including those used by Curtiss-Wright. However, a key feature of this new system is a sealless mudline pump specifically designed to process oil. Petrobras believes that this new technology will be revolutionary for the entire oil and gas industry. This also demonstrates the oil giant’s dedication to continuous innovation that will improve its operational efficiency and help earn huge profits.

Specialists from both companies are also studying an advanced version of the prototype under development. This version will have an increased lifespan of nearly 10 years with the capacity to operate more than one well simultaneously. This will contribute to significant cost reduction and boost productivity, per Petrobras’ statement.

Curtiss-Wright is a multinational business specializing in highly engineered products and solutions, primarily catering to the Aerospace & Defense markets. The company is also involved in the development of critical technologies used in demanding sectors such as Commercial Power, Process and Industrial markets.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, PBR carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), while CW carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some better-ranked stocks in the energy sector are Archrock Inc. AROC and SM Energy SM. Both Archrock and SM Energy presently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Archrock is an energy infrastructure company based in the United States, with a focus on midstream natural gas compression. It provides natural gas contract compression services and generates stable fee-based revenues.

SM Energy is an upstream energy firm operating in the prolific Midland Basin region and the South Texas region. For 2024, the company expects its production to increase from the prior-year reported figure, signaling a bright production outlook.

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Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobras (PBR) : Free Stock Analysis Report

SM Energy Company (SM) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (CW) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Archrock, Inc. (AROC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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