Energy consortium taps Pioneer for subsea optical network

Created September 1, 2022
News and Business

Submarine fibre optic consulting and project management company Pioneer Consulting, has been contracted by the Zemax-Planova Consortium to provide expertise related to the various oil and gas (O&G) aspects of the Petrobras Malha Óptica project in Brazil.  The 1,200 km trunk-and-branch fibre system will link 13 floating production storage and offloading vessels (FPSO) and one static platform with two cable landing stations in Praia Grande, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. The project will also give Petrobras the possibility to almost triple the number of connected platforms over the system’s lifetime. The project marine survey is already underway, and the system is expected to be ready for service by 2023.

Pioneer Consulting will provide support for route engineering, quality and documentation, contractor and supplier management, and survey and installation oversight, in addition to handling all components of the marine program related to the O&G platform hookups. Subsea telecommunications industry veteran, Bob Munoz, who recently joined the Pioneer team, will serve as the full-time O&G Marine Consultant for the project.

“We are very excited to help the Zemax-Planova Consortium make this project a reality,” said Gavin Tully, managing partner of Pioneer Consulting. “Pioneer Consulting has significant experience working on commercial subsea telecom projects, but Malha Óptica gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in the field of O&G. Malha Óptica is set to become the world’s foremost O&G fibre optic system, and it’s an honour to play such a critical role in its deployment. Many members of our team have a background in O&G telecom projects, but I’m particularly excited to welcome Bob Munoz in a full-time capacity. For the past year and a half, Bob has been leading our marine team for the Southern Cross NEXT project, which recently entered commercial service, so the transition to working on Malha Óptica comes at a perfect time.”

“The Zemax-Planova Consortium has been trusted by Petrobras to build its Malha Óptica network, so it was important to us to have additional experience and expertise related to this unique type of undersea fibre optic system,” said Ronaldo Moidano, project manager for the Consortium. “We have all the usual challenges related to construction of an undersea fibre system, but with added complexities related to platform umbilicals, wet-mate connector assemblies, and other aspects which are unique to O&G networks. After reviewing the project and strategizing with Pioneer Consulting, we knew they would be an ideal part of our team to ensure the project’s success.”

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.