RIO DE JANEIRO -- Petrobras and Turkish Petroleum Corp. (TPAO) have signed a farm-out agreement for the drilling rig Leiv Eiriksson to operate in the Black Sea.
The accord follows the signing of a drilling service agreement between Petrobras and Ocean Rig last month, through which Petrobras secured the right to use the drilling unit in the Black Sea for a three-year period.
Under the terms of the farm-out, TPAO will use theLeiv Eiriksson to drill one of its seven wells in the Black Sea, with the possibility to extend the services to additional wells. The rig should arrive in Turkey late this year, and drilling operations are slated to begin on the Sinop well, which Petrobras will operate, in 1Q 2010.
TheLeiv Eiriksson was built in 2001 and can drill in water depths of more than 2,000 m (6,562 ft).
Petrobras entered the Turkish sector in February 2006, when it was the highest bidder for exploration and production in two blocks in the Black Sea. As a result, Petrobras and TPAO signed operation agreements that ensured 50% stakes for each company for the exploration and production of blocks 3920 (Kirklareli) and 3922 (Sinop).
In late 2008, Petrobras completed the commitments it had taken on to perform seismic studies. Petrobras, in concert with TPAO, is keen to assess the oil potential of the deep waters of the Black Sea, which it regards as one of the world's last oil frontiers.