Keppel Corp., the world’s biggest builder of oil rigs, won a preliminary order worth about $4.12 billion from Sete Brasil Participacoes SA as Brazil’s state-backed oil company develops new fields off the country’s coast
Sete Brasil, part-owned by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, signed a letter of intent to buy five semi-submersible rigs that will be made in Brazil, according to a statement from Singapore-based Keppel today. A final agreement may be signed within two months, according to a spokesman who declined to be named citing company policy.
Keppel is building its second yard in the South American country as Petrobras works through plans to spend $224.7 on equipment to support exploration in the largest crude discovery in the Americas since 1976. Sembcorp Marine Ltd., the world’s second-biggest rig maker, and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. have also invested in Brazil because of demand from Petrobras.
Sete Brasil said it February it will spend $27 billion by 2020 on drilling units. The company ordered an $809 million semi-submersible rig from Keppel in December and a drill ship from Sembcorp in February.
Demand for offshore unit remains “hot” this year, Keppel’s Chief Executive Officer Choo Chiau Beng said in January, after the company won record orders totaling more than S$10 billion ($8 billion) last year.