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Petrobras monitors its offshore oil exploration activities with RADARSAT-1

Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company giant, has extended its contract with RADARSAT International for the use of RADARSAT-1 data and services in support of its environmental program. The one-year extension is worth $570 000 US. This marks the fourth year that Petrobras has been using RADARSAT-1 data in this program.

The environmental program is designed to foster sustainable development in Petrobras’ offshore oil exploration and development activities in the Campos, Espirito Santo and Santos Basins. Petrobras takes a proactive approach by using RADARSAT-1 data and services to monitor its offshore facilities (platforms and oil-transporting pipes) for any signs of oil leakage or spill.

In the event of an oil spill or leak, time-sensitive contingency plans using RADARSAT-1 are set in motion. These plans include emergency tasking of the satellite followed by near-real time processing and delivery of the data to Petrobras. Petrobras extracts the location and extent of the oil from the RADARSAT-1 data and integrates this spatial information into its oil spill model. The oil spill model extrapolates the future movement and spatial distribution of the oil – information that is critical to the disaster response team.