PETROBRAS has ordered the first seven of a total build programme of 28 offshore drilling rigs.
They are intended to meet the company’s long-term deepwater exploration and development requirements, particularly with regard to pre-salt.
The first batch order has gone to local shipyard Estaleiro Atlantico Sul shipyard (EAS), located in the state of Pernambuco.
EAS secured the order with a final bid of just over $4.63billion – roughly $660million per completed unit.
The Brazilian national oil company expects the new rigs to come into operation in 2015.
The remaining 21 rigs will also be built in-country.
It said that during the construction period, 32,000 direct and indirect jobs should be created in around eight years.
Once operational, Petrobras says the fleet will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, which will remain active for a period of around 10 years.
Unlike the UK, which threw away its ability to build mobile offshore drilling units some years ago, Brazil is reinforcing its capabilities in this respect.
It will only go foreign and secure overseas orders if it absolutely has to for capacity reasons.
A charter contract will be signed with newly created Sete Brazil (Sete BR), which will take on the construction contract with EAS.
Sete BR is a company formed by the Fundo de Investimentos em Participacoes – FIP Sondas, which is managed by the Caixa Economica Federal (CEF), and owns a total of 90% of the company.
It will have market investors as shareholders, including those from Brazilian pension funds and investment banks.
Petrobras will also hold a 10% stake in the new company.
Day rates for the newly ordered rigs are expected to be in the order of $430,000 to $475,000.