Petrobras Seeks Subsea Support Vessels

Oil giant Petrobras said it is looking to engage in three-year contracts to charter diving support vessels (DSVs) and ROV support vessels.

The DSV tender from Brazil’s national oil company said that the contracts would include possible two-year extensions. BNamericas reported that the company could hire two DSVs, though that information was not made available by the company to potential bidders.

The two-lot auction is split into:

  • Commencement of operations expected for December 2018; and
  • Operations beginning in January 2019.

Bidders have until Nov. 23 to submit proposals.
Numerous companies own and/or operate DSVs and ROVs for Petrobras, including U.S.-based Otto Candies and Edison Chouest; Holland-based Fugro; Norway-based SolstadFarstad, Sealion and DOF (Norskan); U.K.-based Up Offshore; and Brazil’s Farol Apoio Marítimo.

SBM Offshore Starts Liza FPSO Conversion

The Liza FPSO unit will undergo upgrade work on the hull and integration of topsides at Keppel’s Singapore shipyard following a final investment decision on the offshore project it is destined for, the company said Nov. 14.

The move follows completion of FEED and ExxonMobil’s decision in June to move forward on the Liza Phase 1 development project offshore Guyana.

Sembcorp Marine Clinches $490 Million Construction Contract From Statoil

Statoil plans to sign a letter of intent with Singapore-based Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters Pte. Ltd. for the Castberg project, Statoil said Nov. 10. The contract is valued at about US$ 490 million.

The contract covers the engineering, procurement and construction services for the hull and integrated living quarters of a FPSO vessel that will be located on the Johan Castberg Field in the Barents Sea.

The two companies will sign the contract at the final investment decision scheduled before the end of December.

The contract, which was won through international competitive bidding, marks an important milestone for the progress of the Castberg project. There were no Norwegian bids for the contract.

“We will be working closely with Sembcorp Marine to ensure safe and efficient delivery based on our requirements for HSE, quality, time and cost,” Pål Eitrheim, Statoil’s chief procurement officer, said. “The remaining procurement work will be progressed in parallel with this.”

The construction of the hull is the most time-critical delivery for the completion of the Johan Castberg project for the scheduled startup in 2022, according to Statoil. The contract will have a separate cancellation clause linked to the approval of the plan for development and operation.

“Johan Castberg is the next major field development on the Norwegian continental shelf and important to future infrastructure in the Barents Sea,” said Torger Rød, Statoil’s senior vice president for project development. “Analyses from Agenda Kaupang show that the project will generate some 47,000 man-years of employment in Norway in the development phase from 2018 to 2022 given a competitive Norwegian supply industry.”

Petrobras Picks MODEC For Sépia Field FPSO Vessel

Tokyo-based MODEC Inc. snared a 21-year contract to provide an FPSO vessel to Petrobras for operations off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, the company said.

The contract involves supply, charter and operations for the vessel in the Santos Basin at a water depth of about 2,200 m (7,218 ft).

In addition to engineering, procurement, construction, mobilization, installation and operation of the FPSO vessel, the company will be responsible for topsides processing equipment as well as hull and marine systems. A subsidiary, SOFEC Inc., will design and supply the spread mooring system.

The new FPSO vessel will be capable of processing 180,000 bbl/d of crude oil, 212 MMscf of natural gas and 240,000 bbl/d of water injection. It will also have storage capacity of 1.4 MMbbl/d of crude oil.

This FPSO vessel will be the 13th MODEC has delivered in Brazil, and MODEC’s 6th FPSO vessel in the presalt. Other presalt vessels include FPSO Cidade de Angra dos Reis MV22, FPSO Cidade de São Paulo MV23, FPSO Cidade de Mangaratiba MV24, the FPSO Cidade de Itaguaí MV26 and the FPSO Cidade de Caraguatatuba MV27, which achieved the first oil production in December 2016.

The FPSO vessel will be delivered with Brazilian local content.

BW Catcher Attracts $275 Million Investment

The world’s largest commercial bank has invested $275 million into a long-term deal with North Sea field development vessel BW Catcher.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBCL), the global leader in terms of total asset and net profit, closed its deal Nov. 13 to become an equity partner in the FPSO unit. Catcher is under a lease contract with Premier Oil.

The investment is the first transaction under a cooperation agreement between Norwegian shipowner BW Offshore Ltd. (BWO)and ICBCL in April. The company said it plans to redeem the preference shares in full over an estimated term of 12 years. Net proceeds from the shares will be used for general corporate purposes.

“We are very pleased to secure this equity participation for the BW Catcher FPSO in cooperation with our strategic partner, ICBCL, and in line with our stated ambition to seek new ways of enabling further growth for the company,” BWO CEO Carl K. Arnet said in a statement.

The FPSO unit arrived in the U.K. North Sea earlier this year to begin a seven-year fixed-term contract in the field. The contract’s extension options could keep Catcher in the North Sea for up to 18 years.

BW Catcher, built in Japan, was converted for use in the North Sea in Singapore. It can process up to 60,000 bbl/d of oil and store 650,000 bbl. The vessel is designed to sustain 20 years of uninterrupted operations. BW Offshore was awarded the front-end engineering study in 2012.

The Catcher development covers the fields of Catcher, Burgman and Varadero 161 km (100 miles) east of Aberdeen, containing an estimated 96 MMbbl of oil.

Premier’s stake is 50%, with Cairn Energy (20%), Mol Group (20%) and Dyas (10%).

—Joseph Markman