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Petrobras Starts 7th Round of Fleet Renewal Plan for Prorefam

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 3/17/2014, Location: South America

At Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras President Maria das Graças Silva Foster and the Director of Exploration and Production, Jose Formigli, announced the start of the 7th round of the Fleet Renewal Plan for Offshore Support Vessels (Prorefam). Stock was also taken at this time of the plan from 2000 to present, and contracts were signed for the 5th round of the program.

The President highlighted the importance of the program for the industry as well as for Petrobras, emphasizing that the company's priority is to increase their oil production, as per the 2014-2018 Business and Management Plan. "This is a very important time. It's the time to cheer the naval and offshore industry on so it continues to grow, thrive, and most importantly be respected", stated the President. On the topic of contracts, Graca Foster stressed that prices must be within international norms. "Petrobras can't wait. There is absolutely nothing that would justify us falling behind on our oil production curve. No contract that would put this at risk is a priority for us", she stated.

Formigli divulged that calls for bids for the 7th and final round will be issued by Friday, March 21, and that proposals must be submitted to Petrobras by June 27. Contract signing is scheduled for October 30 of this year. Speaking about Petrobras' expectations for the 7th round, the Director reinforced the importance of the Brazilian industry setting competitive prices. "The expectation is to sign these contracts on a competitive basis, and this is very important. We are always comparing Brazilian prices with foreign ones, and we are definitely not willing to sign contracts if there is a significant difference", he stated.

The Director presented the program's scope, which includes a total of up to 146 vessels over seven rounds between 2008 and 2014. The minimum local construction content varies between 50% and 60% depending on the type of vessel, and is 70% for the offshore operations phase. "At this point, we have managed to sign contracts for 87 of 146 vessels", stated Formigli, adding that, of these 87 vessels, 61 are under construction and 26 are operating. He also emphasized the importance of meeting deadlines. "We are working hard with the companies to recover from any lags and to find permanent solutions," he stated, and further stressed that problems of this type have been relatively small and have been overcome.

This time was also taken to sign contracts for eight vessels from the 5th round call for bids, with the companies Bram Offshore Transportes Maritimos Ltda, Norskan Offshore Ltda and Starnav Servicos Maritimos Ltda.

Contracts Signed

Contracts were signed for 13 vessels in the first round, 27 in the second, 16 in the third, 23 in the fourth, and eight in the last round. Of these, 76 vessels are PSVs (Platform Supply Vessels), used for loading platforms with liquid and solid loads, and OSRVs (Oil Spill Response Vessels), which are designed for recovering oil offshore. Eleven are AHTS vessels (Anchor Handling Tug Supply), which are built to handle anchors, tow-vessels, and transport supplies.

Out of the fleet of offshore support vessels working with Petrobras, 53% are Brazilian.

Construction timeframes are three years from the time of contract execution for PSVs and OSRVs, and four years for AHTSs. Contracts are valid for up to eight years. Minimum local construction content is 60% for PSVs and OSRVs, and 50% for AHTS vessels. For vessel operations, minimum local content is 70%.

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