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Petrobras preparing open tender for Brazil's biggest ever platform

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Reuters is reporting that Petrobras is preparing to launch a tender to build Brazil’s largest-ever oil platform, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, as the state-controlled oil firm pushes ahead with ambitious plans to boost deepwater production.

Petrobras plans to launch the leasing tender for the FPSO by the end of August, the people said.

Equivalent vessels for deepwater production have cost between US$2.5 billion and US$3 billion to build. Winners build and own the platforms, and lease them to Petrobras in contracts with daily rates of up to US$1 million that often last longer than 15 years.

It will be the seventh FPSO in Buzios, Brazil’s second most productive field and one of the biggest deepwater discoveries this century, the people said.

Petrobras is considering a unit able to process 225 000 bpd, more than Brazil’s current largest platform, owned by Equinor in its Bacalhau field, said one of the people.

The request for bids shows the state-controlled producer is moving ahead with investment plans for its most prolific fields despite the recent contraction of crude prices. The novel coronavirus pandemic has kept consumers at home and sapped demand for several fuels.

The competition for the FPSO is expected to take several months, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss the nonpublic plans.

About 10 companies have been pre-qualified by Petrobras to compete, one of the people said, including the world’s biggest FPSO lessors, Japan’s Modec Inc and Amsterdam-based SBM Offshore NV.

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