Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned energy company, is investing $318 million (€253.5 million) to develop a floating oil terminal that will enable tankers to refuel at sea, The Telegraph reports.
The Transfer and Storage Offshore Unit will slash the distances currently covered by oil vessels, helping to lower capital expenditure.
This new technology will allow oil to be stored at sea and transferred to export vessels, whereas today crude oil is transported from the offshore oil rig to the coast where it is then collected by tankers for export.
When it comes online in June 2014, the terminal will be the world’s first floating oil terminal able to refuel tankers at sea. The unit, which is currently under construction in China, will be located close to the drilling rigs, 55 miles off Rio de Janeiro. It will be able to store 2 million barrels of oil.