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Brazilian shipbuilding prowess key to pre-salt growth - Petrobras

13th May 2013

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras plans to open a centre of excellence for the shipbuilding industry in Brazil as pre-salt oil production is expected to increase over the next decade

Brazilian shipbuilding prowess key to pre-salt growth – Petrobras
Petrobras is seeking to accelerate Brazil's shipbuilding development as it looks to capitalise on offshore oil reserves in the pre-salt

Petrobras' exploration and production ambitions in the pre-salt is dependent on the progress made in developing Brazil’s shipbuilding industry, said a Petrobras representative in a presentation at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston last week.

Paulo Alonso, Petrobras local content advisor to the president and executive coordinator of Prominp, a Brazilian state-sponsored initiative to increase local involvement in the region’s oil and gas activities, said that the biggest challenge today is to push the pre-salt forward in the shipbuilding industry and the shipyards.

Alonso said: “We are working with the shipyards so that we can meet the demand and stay on track with the schedule defined in our Business Plan, they cannot fail. There are many challenges in achieving a benchmark in the shipbuilding industry, and partnerships with international companies and universities are absolutely essential.”

During the presentation, Alonso revealed that Petrobras would support this ambition by initiating plans to build a centre of excellence for Brazil’s shipbuilding industry.

He also highlighted that any potential progress was reliant on the backing of international companies, highlighting technology as an area in which local content could be supplemented by external corporations.

“The average local content in Petrobras' exploration and production operations today is between 55 percent and 65 percent. For the other 35 percent, we need the support of international companies so we can develop our projects.

“We understand that the association with international companies is the best solution for technological bottlenecks, in addition to working in partnership with universities to achieve long-term results,” Alonso added.

Petrobras announced recently that it was close to meeting its 2014 target of contracting 146 newbuild vessels as part of its current Fleet Renewal Plan.