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Final round of renewal plan for offshore support vessels

Oilfield Technology,

Petrobras has announced the seventh and final round of the fleet renewal plan for offshore support vessels. The company also took stock of the program and signed contracts for the fifth round.

Seventh round

Petrobras President, Maria das Graças Silva Foster and the Director of Exploration and Production, José Formigli announced the start of the seventh round at Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro on 17th March.

Graças Foster highlighted the importance of the program for the offshore industry as well as for Petrobras, emphasizing that the company’s priority is to increase its oil production, in line with the 2014 – 2018 Business and Management Plan.

Offshore industry

The president commented: "This is a very important time. It's the time to cheer the naval and offshore industry on so it continues to grow, thrive, and most importantly be respected."

Commenting on the topic of contracts, Graças Foster stressed that prices must remain within international norms. "Petrobras can't wait. There is absolutely nothing that would justify us falling behind on our oil production curve. No contract that would put this at risk is a priority for us," she stated.

Formigli explained that calls for bids for the seventh and final round will be issued by 21st March, and that proposals must be submitted to Petrobras by 27th June. Contract signing is scheduled for 30th October.

Competitive prices

Speaking about the company’s expectations for the final round, Formigli reinforced the importance of the Brazilian industry setting competitive prices. He commented: "The expectation is to sign these contracts on a competitive basis, and this is very important. We are always comparing Brazilian prices with foreign ones, and we are definitely not willing to sign contracts if there is a significant difference."

The Director presented the program's scope, which includes a total of up to 146 vessels over seven rounds between 2008 and 2014. The minimum local construction content varies between 50% and 60% depending on the type of vessel, and is 70% for the offshore operations phase.

Vessels and deadlines

"At this point, we have managed to sign contracts for 87 of 146 vessels", Formigli stated, adding that, of these 87 vessels, 61 are under construction and 26 are in operation. Formigli also stressed the importance of meeting deadlines: "We are working hard with the companies to recover from any lags and to find permanent solutions."

Petrobras also signed contracts for eight vessels from the fifth round call for bids, with Bram Offshore Transportes Maritimos Ltd, Norskan Offshore Ltd and Starnav Serviços Marítimos Ltd.

Contracts signed

Contracts were signed for 13 vessels in the first round, 27 in the second, 16 in the third, 23 in the fourth, and eight in the last round. Of these, 76 vessels are PSVs (Platform Supply Vessels), used for loading platforms with liquid and solid loads, and OSRVs (Oil Spill Response Vessels), which are designed for recovering oil offshore. Eleven are AHTS vessels (Anchor Handling Tug Supply), which are built to handle anchors, tow-vessels, and transport supplies.

Out of the fleet of offshore support vessels working with Petrobras, 53% are Brazilian.

Construction timeframes are three years from the time of contract execution for PSVs and OSRVs, and four years for AHTSs. Contracts are valid for up to eight years. Minimum local construction content is 60% for PSVs and OSRVs, and 50% for AHTS vessels. For vessel operations, minimum local content is 70%.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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