Brazilian shipyard combine Estaleiro Atlantico Sul (EAS) is the front-runner in the race to build up to 28 deepwater capability semi-submersible drilling rigs and ships for Petrobras.
EAS, a consortium formed by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries and local companies Queiroz Galvao and Camargo Correa, tabled a $4.65billion for seven rigs bid on Thursday beating out six other groups.
Companies that also presented bids included Brazilian consortium Alusa Galvao, which offered $4.679billion, and overseas names such as Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine and Keppel Corp. OAS-Odebrecht-UTC Engenharia is another name on the list.
It is some two years since Petrobras announced plans to lease long-term up to 28 new drilling rigs, all of which it expects to be built in Brazil and to be delivered over the period 2013-2018.
Petrobras was due to allow five days for companies to file appeals before making a final announcement on the winner for the massive phase one order.
Petrobras has approved the qualification of all seven bidders on its multi-billion dollar tender process ultimately aimed at contracting up to 28 deep-water drilling rigs, all of which must be built in Brazil.
While the phase one package bid is seven rigs, Petrobras had envisaged a nine-rig first round of which the majority would be drillships. Two other phases may be either drillships or semi-submersibles, all of which would be leased out to drilling contractors.
It is understood Petrobras has also been looking at a parallel process that could involve chartering a number of rigs from drilling companies.
Transocean and Petrobras have been down this route in the recent past with the Petrobras 10000 in 2008.
Petrobras and Mitsu paid for the $750million construction cost of the rig, and signed a 20-year capital lease contract with Transocean after which Transocean can buy the rig for $1.
Transocean also agreed on a 10-year drilling contract for $460,000 a day, or a bonus-adjusted $500,000 a day, which can be extended for another 10 years at a mutually agreeable rate. The added incentive for Transocean is that Petrobras agreed to pay any taxes, which boosted Transocean’s aftertax return even higher.