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Petrobras turns to Chinese shipyards to offset production delays

27th February 2013

Petrobras commissions work for four FPSOs from Chinese shipyard, as production delays from local shipyards and aging offshore fields jeopardise oil giant’s plans

Petrobras turns to Chinese shipyards to offset production delays
Cosco will handle part of the conversion of three oil tankers into the P-75, P-76 and P-77 platforms, in addition to work on the P-67 hull

Petrobras has outsourced work on four pre-salt drilling platforms to China, as part of plans to increase oil production and counter delays in equipment delivery, Brazil’s O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Monday.

 

Construction work to convert oil tankers into the P-67, P-75, P-76 and P-77 floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) platforms is estimated at USD 2bn and has begun in Indonesia and China’s Cosco shipyard in Dalian.

 

Petrobras has set local content rules for the platforms of up to 70 per cent to spur local industries. Although industry sources told the ‘paulista’ newspaper that Petrobras would not be able to fulfil its strict content rules, the Brazilian giant maintains that the work constitutes less than 3 per cent of the value of the contracts to build the FPSOs.

 

Cosco will handle part of the conversion of three oil tankers into the P-75, P-76 and P-77 platforms. The conversions will be completed in Brazil and the FPSOs will operate in the company’s rights transfer area, where it has exclusive rights to drill up to 5 billion barrels of oil from the Santos Basin’s pre-salt.  The Chinese shipyard will also work on the P-67 hull, which is part of an order for eight replicated FPSOs.

 

Brazil is currently mired by production delays in local shipyards, particularly in the Inhaúma shipyard in the state of Rio de Janeiro and the Rio Grande shipyard in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. In addition, Petrobras is facing a stagnant oil production due to maintenance shutdowns at aging offshore platforms and declining output at mature fields.

 

Petrobras is also looking to commission work on five extra FPSOs to operate in the rights transfer area from Monaco’s SBM and Japan’s Modec.