Petrobras Flash: Laptop Cop Was a Gas, Gas, Gas?

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NS-21: Who is going to wind up in deep shit over deep, dark deep-water data?

Detalhes sobre mega-reserva de gás estão entre dados furtados: The front page of the Estado’s Economy section yesterday was taken up by a three-story editorial package on the theft of laptops from a container being shipped back to Petrobras from an exploration platform that had just discovered what are reportedly massive fossil fuel reserves that will enable Brazil to pole-vault into a serious candidate for OPEC membership.

I have been very busy and not following the story closely, but it would be interested to collect all the clippings on the coverage.

Some TV news programs the other evening, for example, were very insistent that the theft of computer equipment during a break-in was a “common crime” and that “police had ruled out” industrial espionage.

If you just got your news from the TV Globo and TV Record screencrawl, that might very well be the impression you came away with.

The Estado has been notably insistent that jumping to this conclusion does not exactly fit the known factoids, which it has run down very diligently.

See also

A very significant side issue dealt with in yesterday’s editorial package on the incident: Will the incident affect the auctioning off of concessions to pump Texas tea from the Tupi and Jupiter fields?

In other words, if someone is found to have been behind an industrial espionage scheme, could they lose out on bidding for the contract? Is Halliburton at risk of being blamed for apparently shoddy data security practices? People whose job it is to answer questions like this seem to be hemming and hawing on this one.

The latest dispatch:

MACAÉ, RJ – Os dados sigilosos que estavam nos computadores da empresa Halliburton e que foram furtados tinham sido coletados nos trabalhos de sonda de perfuração NS-21 conhecida também como Ocean Clipper, responsável pela descoberta gigante no campo de Jupiter, anunciada no mês passado. A informação de que os dados furtados são destas sondas foram levantadas pela investigação da Polícia Federal e já foram confirmadas em Macaé.O campo de Jupiter representa uma extensa reserva de gás natural da bacia de Campos e é a descoberta mais recente da Petrobras.

The secret data on the Halliburton computers that were stolen had been collected during test drilling by the NS-21 unit, known as the Ocean Clipper, which discovered the giant Jupiter field announced last month.

According to RigZone, a sort of Web-based Jane’s for floating heavy industrial equipment, the platform is owned and managed by Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO).

Oh, wait, the Estado does get to that.

The information the data stolen comes from these soundings was raised by the federal police and has now been confirmed in Macaé, Rio de Janeiro. The Jupiter field represents a vast natural gas reserve in the Campos Basin and is the state-controlled oil company’s latest discovery.

A sonda pertence à companhia americana Diamond, representada no Brasil pela filial Brasdrill, e trata-se de uma das duas únicas unidades contratadas pela Petrobras com capacidade para perfurar poços abaixo da camada de sal, em uma área muito profunda, abaixo do leito marinho. A descoberta de Júpiter foi comemorada pela estatal como a confirmação de que o risco exploratório da região é extremamente baixo.

The drilling rig belongs to the American company Diamond, represented in Brazil by the Brasdrill subsidiary, and is one of the only units Petrobras has hired that can drill below the salt layer in very deep water into the sea bed. The Jupiter discover was hailed by Petrobras as evidence that exploration risks in the area are extremely low.

I am just hashing out a rough translation here, but you get the idea. You can do lots of tequila shots, blindfold yourself, and still stand a good chance of breaking open the piñata.

You really ought to identify the company fully on first reference. Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.

provides contract drilling services to the energy industry worldwide and is also engaged in deepwater drilling with a fleet of 44 offshore drilling rigs. The Company’s fleet consists of 30 semisubmersibles, 13 jack-ups and one drillship. The Company offers a range of services worldwide in various markets, including the deep water, harsh environment, conventional semisubmersible and jack-up markets. The Company provides offshore drilling services to a customer base that includes independent oil and gas companies and government-owned oil companies.

What on earth is a jack-up? The Aussies are concerned with the company’s safety procedures, one reads in a recent news flash from Energy Currents.

Segundo as testemunhas, os equipamentos da consultoria Halliburton deixaram a plataforma no dia 18 do mês passado, mesmo dia em que a sonda interrompeu as atividades no bloco BM-S-24, e chegaram ao Rio no dia 25, onde ficaram armazenados no terminal Poliportos, na zona portuária.

According to witnesses, the equipment belonging to Halliburton left the platform on January 18, the same day the drilling rig stopped work in Block BM-S-24, and arrived in Rio on January 25, where they were stored in the Poliportos terminal in the port zone.

No dia 29 de janeiro, os equipamentos seguiram rumo a Macaé (RJ) em um caminhão da transportadora Transmagno, que é monitorado por rastreador. O motorista passou a noite no posto Mucelin, em Itaboraí, na região metropolitana do Rio, seguindo determinação da transportadora de não viajar após às 22 horas.

On January 29, the equipment continued on to Macaé in a truck operated by Transmagno that was monitored using a tracking device. The driver spent the night at a truck sto in Mucelin, in Itaboraí, in the greater Rio metro area, following instructions from Transmgno not to drive after 10 p.m.

This is not uncommon, I think. Some roads are reputedly very dangerous at night. They interviewed the truck stop operator the other day, who said he did not have a lot of reported break-ins in his parking lot.

Interviews with Brazilian truck drivers are always interesting. It is not an easy line of work, to say the least.

Actor Antônio Fagundes did a notable series a few years back in which he played one (his current soap opera character is more or less a reprise of that role, I think: Sort of a Brazilian C.J. McCall of “Convoy” fame.)

A polícia sabe que não houve desvio no trajeto do caminhão e que o posto tem segurança particular para proteger os caminhões que passam a noite em suas instalações.

The police know that the truck did not depart from its scheduled route and that the truck stop has private security to protect trucks passing the night there.

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