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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Profile: Oil & Gas Helicopter Operators in Brazil

By Claudio Agostini

Lider Aviacao’s fleet of 61 helicopters includes the Sikorsky S-92.

Brazil is one of the driving forces behind Latin America’s emergence as a fast-growing market for helicopter support operations. The largest rotorcraft operator in Latin America is Lider Aviacao, with a fleet of 61 helicopters—comprising the Sikorsky S-92, S-76A/C+/C++ and Bell 412/212—as well as 31 fixed-wing aircraft. Lider employs 250 helicopter pilots and recently purchased an S-76 simulator from CAE Simuflite that is scheduled to enter service this year. With 90 percent of the demand for oil and gas helicopters from State Oil Company Petrobras, the country’s fleet is reaching around 105 units, compared with current estimated worldwide fleet of 1,700 helicopters servicing the Oil & Gas industry. There is still much to know concerning to the discovered fields but Petrobras alone estimates that national petroleum production will double by 2020, from the current 2 million barrels per day to 3.9 million. Within this increment, about 1.2 million barrels are expected to come from the pre-salt. The Oil & Gas boom and consequent proliferation mainly of platforms along Brazilian coast alone would justify the enlargement of the actual fleet of helicopters, which also supports other oil companies like Shell, Chevron and local OGX. But not only an increase in the number of aircraft is involved. The profile of the fleet as well as the pre-salt reservoirs are more than 300 kilometers of the Brazilian coast, and onshore operations like Urucu in the Amazonian region requires access by heavy-lift helicopters.  For the full story, see the March 2012 issue and visit www.rotorandwing.com

 

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