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Brazilian deepwater drilling contract signed

Five rigs designed to help unlock – more economically and efficiently – Brazilian offshore oil reserves have been commissioned by Sete Brazil

Technology is constantly being developed and upgraded to adapt to challenging hydrocarbon reserve conditions

Global offshore design company, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd has agreed with Brazilian drilling-rig holding Sete Brazil to construct five semisubmersible deepwater drilling rigs designed to make the most out of the country’s hard-to-reach resources. 

Through its subsidiaries, Keppel FELS Brasil S.A. and Estaleiro BrasFELS Ltda, the company signed a letter of intent (LOI) to build the rigs, at a contract value – if and when successfully agreed and executed – worth approximately USD 4.12bn.

Like a previous order between the two companies in December 2011, the five rigs are intended to support Brazil's exploration of its vast proven offshore oil and gas resources.

The so-called DSS 38E design builds on Keppel's already in use fifth generation deepwater device, the DSS 38.

“With improved capability and operability, the DSS 38E is well suited to meet the stringent requirements of the deepwater "Golden Triangle" region --- Brazil, Africa and the Gulf of Mexico”, said the company in a statement.

Sete Brasil CEO, Joao Carlos Ferraz, said: "It is full steam ahead for us in growing our fleet of rigs and vessels to support the E&P activities in offshore Brazil, and we need to partner shipyards like Keppel which can deliver the quality rigs in a timely manner which we are looking for."

Jointly developed and owned by Keppel's Deepwater Technology Group and Marine Structure Consultants, the DSS 38E design is rated to drill to depths of 10,000m below the rotary table in 3,000m water depth. Its operational displacement is approximately 45,000 tonnes.

Each rig will have accommodations to house a crew of up to 160. The vessel is designed to stay in position via eight Azimuthing thrusters and the configurations comply with the American Bureau of Shipping Dynamic Positioned System (DPS-3) requirements.

Apart from the Angra dos Reis location, Keppel O&M is currently developing a 7.6 ha specialised shipbuilding facility, Keppel Singmarine Brasil, in Navegantes, Santa Catarina. Ahead of its opening, the yard has already secured two contracts from operators in Brazil to construct a series of six harbor tugs and two large-sized 4,500 dwt platform supply vessels.

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