Petrobras announced it has approved the strategy of hiring up to 28 new drilling rigs to be built in Brazil, with increasing national content, for exploration in ultra-deep waters, including of wells located in the pre-salt layer. The rigs are slated to be delivered between 2013 and 2018.
The first phase includes the hiring of at least nine rigs, seven of which will be vessel-type units that will be grouped for construction at a single shipyard. Contracting these seven rigs from a same shipyard will allow the winning bidder to make the investments that are required in order for it to adjust its infrastructure and secure gains in scale.
The two other units, which may be vessel-type rigs or semisubmersible platforms, will be built separately and may use emerging technologies.
Simultaneously, the company will hold another process that may charter up to four units per company, also to be built in Brazil. Under this alternative, the charterers themselves would be in charge of hiring rig construction from the shipyards.
The process of hiring all of these units is expected to be kicked off as early as September 2009.
The volume of orders will help to enhance Brazil’s existing shipyards and create new shipyards while also building a new Brazilian naval industry. Having the rigs built in Brazil will also allow for major growth in the good and service industry that supplies the shipyards’ productive chain.
Petrobras is analyzing ways to facilitate access to credit by the Brazilian suppliers.
The Brazilian federal government will allocate, via the Guarantee Fund for Naval Construction, R$4 billion exclusively to guarantee the construction of these 28 drilling rigs.