Brazil’s ultra-deepwater market on the rebound, says new report

July 19, 2021
Ten floating rigs have been contracted for Brazil year to date, according to Evercore ISI.

Offshore staff

NEW YORK CITY – The economic recovery of Brazil’s ultra-deepwater oil and gas market is underway, according to a recent report by Evercore ISI.

In its latest Offshore Rig Market Snapshot (July 2021), the consulting firm noted that three term floater contracts were signed for Brazil over the week ending July 15, with Petrobras renewing two ultra-deepwater drillships and PetroRio taking over an UDW semisubmersible rig later this year.

Overall, Evercore says that 10 floaters have been contracted for Brazil year to date, for almost 17 rig years. Notably four of these floaters were contracted by Petrobras, with the other six contracts going to Karoon Energy (two), Equinor, PetroRio, Shell, and TotalEnergies.

“We believe the long-awaited Brazil recovery is well underway,” the report commented, "with Petrobras’s rig count bottoming at around 20 while the non-PBR operated rig count is set to increase" from two to five. Six non-PBR operators account for a total of eight rig years currently, up from one operator for less than 10 months of backlog a year ago.

Separately, the report notes that Schlumberger, TechnipFMC, NOV, and Baker Hughes have all been awarded a number of Brazilian contracts over the past month. SLB’s Subsea Integration Alliance secured a major contract from Equinor’s Bacalhau development while TechnipFMC was awarded its first iEPCI (trees, flexible pipes and umbilicals) contract in Brazil for Karoon’s Patola field, as well as tree orders for Petrobras’ Buzios 6-9 projects.

From Petrobras, TechnipFMC and Baker Hughes were awarded orders for subsea manifolds for Marlim and Voador, while NOV and Baker Hughes will be sharing the mega flexible pipe tender for more than 450 km worth nearly $1 billion. Tenders remain outstanding from Petrobras for rigid riser-based SPS and SURF systems for Buzios 6/7 and Mero 4; an FPSO for the Sergipe-Alagoas basin; as well as deepwater rigs for Buzios development and jackups for P&A work.