RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 10 Oil services giant
Schlumberger said on Thursday it would build a research center
in Brazil to develop technology for the offshore subsalt fields
that have excited the world's biggest energy companies.
Brazil plans to use locally manufactured goods and
services, such as drilling rigs and ships, in the challenging
development of the vast deep-sea fields in a bid to create jobs
and bolster domestic industry as it taps the new energy
Schlumberger (SLB.N) signed an agreement with the Federal
University of Rio de Janeiro to build a facility that will
develop technology such as new software for oil exploration and
production and processing systems for geophysical data.
The company, which is the world's largest oil field
services provider, did not specify how much it will invest in
the 8,000 square meter (86,111 square feet) facility. The
center is slated to be completed within less than a year.
The subsalt fields pose an array of technical challenges,
including pumping crude through a thick layer of salt that
shifts under geological pressure and ensuring paraffin in the
oil does not solidify and block up pipelines in low sub-sea
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in August
proposed legislation that would make state-run Petrobras
(PETR4.SA)(PBR.N) the exclusive operator of new subsalt
projects and boost state control over the industry.
(Reporting by Denise Luna, Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing
by Marguerita Choy)