Petrobras Carries out Scientific Expeditions in the Equatorial Margin Region

Source: 4/1/2024, Location: South America

The aim is to produce and deepen knowledge about the maritime portion of the region, considered the new oil and gas frontier

Researchers from Petrobras, the Geological Survey of Brazil (SGB), and 10 universities from the states that make up the geographical region of the Equatorial Margin, as well as two research institutions from the Southeast, embarked, on March 30, for a scientific expedition on the Hydroceanographic Research Vessel (NPqHo) 'Vital de Oliveira,' operated by the Brazilian Navy. For thirty days, scientists with different lines of research will be on board the vessel, mainly focused on deepening studies into the region's marine geology. The Equatorial Margin stretches from Rio Grande do Norte to Amapá and is considered the new and most promising exploratory frontier in deep water.

'This is the second expedition we've carried out in the area. Now, we're going to intensify our studies and update our data. In the future, we will apply technologies that were used in the Santos Basin, such as artificial intelligence, drones, and remote sensing, to produce knowledge of this environment and share this opportunity with academia and other institutions, especially with local research groups,' says the company's president, Jean Paul Prates.

This year's expedition has expanded from eight to 28 scientists and two to 12 universities.

'Petrobras continually seeks to establish partnerships with research institutions to generate and expand knowledge about the regions where it operates. Much of the knowledge we have today about the marine ecosystems of the Campos and Santos basins was made possible by Petrobras. We want to do the same in the Equatorial Margin, generating relevant scientific information for our projects and academic research and thus contributing to national science,' explains Carlos Travassos, Director of Engineering, Technology and Innovation at Petrobras.

From the results of this expedition, the scientific community will be able to have more information and monitor the relevant environmental components of the Equatorial Margin, such as habitats and sensitive biological groups, a fundamental step for future environmental programs that will lead Petrobras to generate biodiversity gains in the regions where it operates.

The studies will be carried out by collecting material between 130 and 800 meters deep, about 150 kilometers from the coast, in the maritime portion of Amapá. 'This is one of the advantages of associated research since few institutions have the appropriate means to carry out expeditions like this,' says Travassos.

Research Lab

The Ship 'Vital de Oliveira' is a modern maritime research platform built to identify and minutely record the natural resources found in Brazilian waters. Capable of managing data on marine atmosphere, ocean, soil, and subsoil, it meets the chief demands of the Brazilian scientific community in many marine science segments, such as oceanography, marine biology, geology, and meteorology.

It has traveled 85 times along the Brazilian coast and carried researchers from 44 scientific and academic institutions. This ship is a complex onboard lab and one of the world's most complete hydro-oceanographic data acquisition platforms; it maintains a crew of 90 military soldiers and can carry up to 40 researchers.

This vessel is subordinated to the Brazilian Navy's Hydro-oceanographic Ship Association of the Board of Hydrography and Navigation (DHN). This ship is a tribute to the Brazilian Hydrography patron, the Frigate Captain Manoel Antônio Vital de Oliveira.

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