In Exploration and Production | Galp

To face all the challenges, we invest in various research and technological development programmes. At the moment, one of our priorities is the use of new tools in the exploration and production of the Brazilian pre-salt.

To this end, we have decided to deepen our cooperation with the national and the Brazilian scientific universe, with the aim of developing a network of advanced E&P skills, organised in seven technological programmes.


I. Methodologies for the prospecting and research of hydrocarbons

One of the main objectives is to minimise the uncertainty associated with the exploration of hydrocarbons, and so it is crucial to develop specific and tailored methods for this need. In this context, we are developing, based on the artificial intelligence technology, an assistant that interacts with the geoscientists in the seismic interpretation activities and in the creation of geological models.

We also aim to deepen our knowledge about the dynamics of the processes of oil generation, accumulation and (re)migration, using an innovative methodology.

II. Reservoir modelling and characterisation

The proper modelling of the various types of reservoir, particularly the carbonate ones, due to the geological heterogeneity that characterises them, is very relevant to the optimisation of their development. In this context, we have developed projects whose main objective is to increase the capacity to visualise and characterise the carbonate reservoirs, through the use of new attributes and studies of seismic inversion; as well as to develop a technology of "Modified Stochastic Inversion" that enables to improve the prediction of the elastic properties of the reservoirs.

Development & Production (D&P):

III. Technologies and Methodologies for drilling and completion

In order to maximise the production of hydrocarbons and minimise the risks associated with the drilling and completion stages of the producer wells, we also invest in projects that allow the development of innovative drilling and completion technologies and equipment.

In fact, we are, for example, evaluating the corrosion resistance of different steels that can be used in O&G facilities, as well as CVD diamond coatings for sealing rings and drill bits.

IV. Reservoir management and simulation to maximise hydrocarbons recovery

The search for solutions to maximise hydrocarbon production is another priority in our R&D activity. We are developing several projects that contribute to the elimination of CO2 emissions by injecting this gas into the reservoir to increase the hydrocarbon recovery factor. We highlight the following projects:

  • Development of models to predict and study water invasion mechanisms in heterogeneous carbonate reservoirs;
  • Evaluation of sustainable biotechnological alternatives to increase the oil recovery factor in carbonate reservoirs; Evaluation of the effect on oil recovery of alternating injection of low salinity water and CO2;
  • Development of models to evaluate the optimum CO2 injection conditions to maximise oil recovery;
  • Evaluation of the reservoirs’ microbiota behaviour when submitted to the injection of CO2 and identification of its impact on oil production.

V. Infrastructure technology for offshore oil & gas production/marketing

One of our main focuses is the production of hydrocarbons in ultra-deep water. To this end, we invest in technological innovation applied to production/distribution facilities and equipment. We highlight our research in the selection of materials for pipelines in deep waters; the durability of mooring systems for use in ultra-deep waters; the evaluation of different submarine equipment combinations; and the evaluation of a membrane-based underwater system for the treatment and injection of seawater.

VI. Flow assurance

As we mentioned previously, Galp's E&P projects focus on the Brazilian pre-salt, where the hydrocarbon production is operated on deep offshore. For this reason, hydrocarbon flow is one of the Company's major operational challenges. With this technological programme we intend to develop multiphase flows simulators; evaluate the effects of CO₂ injection on asphaltene stability; evaluate the friction reduction in oil transport using additives and develop a new solution to simulate the flow in wells and production lines. The latter solution would be able to adapt to the Brazilian pre-salt problems, such as high CO2 content, high pressures and long distances.

VII. Production and primary processing systems dedicated to CO2 management

Reducing CO2 emissions is one of the most important global challenges. In this context, carbon capture, separation and storage technology has been the subject of research and development on our part. Of the initiated projects, two have exactly this goal:

  • CO₂ fixation through natural gas dry reforming using bimetallic catalysts in microchannel systems;
  • Development of a compact size industrial solution for the separation of CO2 and CH4.

The use of CO2 as a raw material in industrial processes, in order to obtain higher value-added products, has also been studied.