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Ronald Yeung, Petrobras, and Total’s Nigeria Unit Awarded for Distinguished Achievement by OTC

Earlier this month, the 2020 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Board of Directors named Ronald W. Yeung as the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals and Petrobras for its Búzios Project as the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations, and Institution. OTC also awarded a Special Citation to Total Upstream Nigeria for its Egina Project.

All three will be recognized at the Distinguished Achievement Awards Event held Monday, 4 May at NRG Center in Houston during the OTC.

The Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals recognizes Yeung for his 45-year career in educating a generation of naval architects and ocean engineers and, as well as, his fundamental research in ship and offshore hydrodynamics. Over this period, he has supervised 28 doctoral dissertations in the marine field, more than 100 master’s students and visiting scholars, and published more than 190 articles. 

Yeung received his doctorate in engineering, master’s in naval architecture and bachelor's in mechanical engineering all from the University of California, Berkeley where he currently serves as a distinguished emeritus professor. He also served as an associate and assistant professor in the Ocean Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Yeung’s work experience includes not just academia, where he has contributed extensive and distinguished research, but also industry associations and organizations. This has led to numerous awards and accolades across the industry for him.

Meanwhile, this year’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations, and Institutions recognizes the Petrobras Búzios Project for the use of technological advancements in extreme conditions. The Búzios field is located in the ultradeepwater, 6,560 ft of the Santos Basin presalt, roughly 130 miles from the Rio de Janeiro coast.

Petrobras has, for the first time in the offshore industry, installed four floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units in a single field within a timespan of only 11 months. Each FPSO has the capacity to process 150,000 B/D of oil per day and to compress and reinject 212 million std ft3/D of associated gas. Together, the four production systems have a total of 19 injection wells and 21 production wells.

The project is also significant for pioneering several developments and advancements in the offshore industry by pushing current industry limits with innovative solutions and the adoption of new technologies. This project has many firsts:

·       Deploying 8-in. production flexible risers and flowlines in a definitive ultradeepwater project allowing for increased production

·       First water and gas simultaneous injection manifold ready to operate in ultradeepwater

·       Optimized 20 lines torpedo pile mooring system for FPSOs in ultradeepwater

·       First intensive use of intelligent completions for a total fluid loss scenario

Along with these, the project also featured a new riser system configuration development approach and the largest 3D ocean bottom nodes acquisition in deep waters.


Búzios development has not yet finished. By 2022, the fifth production unit will be deployed allowing the total production capacity to reach 750,000 B/D.

Lastly, Total Upstream Nigeria was awarded a Special Citation for its Egina project, which executed a sustainable deepwater project using local engineering, project management, yards, and support services providing the foundation for future projects.

The Egina project is the largest FPSO to date in the Total Group Fleet of FPSO and the first deepwater project in Nigeria after the 2010 Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act. The reservoir and drilling advancements implemented during the Egina Project are expected to benefit future offshore development in the area of reservoir drilling in Nigeria as well as other parts of Africa.

In addition to elevating the local economy, 200 Nigerian students were trained and allowed an opportunity to further their education and experience, which will create room for career opportunities.

The Distinguished Achievement Award Event offers OTC 2020 attendees an opportunity to support their colleagues and celebrate these industry accomplishments, but also raise funds for the 2020 beneficiary, United Against Human Trafficking. The event will include a networking lunch, awards presentation, and beneficiary recognition.

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