Teekay and Modec Said Favored to Win Petrobras Brazil Contracts

Teekay Offshore Partners LP and Modec Inc. are leading the race to supply two vessels to produce oil in deep waters for state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, three people familiar with the contract terms said.

Petrobras, as the largest producer in waters deeper than 1,000 feet (300 meters) is known, is preparing to award Teekay and Odebrecht Oil & Gas a contract as early as October for the first production unit at its biggest discovery Libra, after the partners offered a daily rate of about $545,000 earlier this month, the people said, asking not to be named because results haven’t been made public.

A joint venture between Modec and Schahin Petroleo & Gas SA is leading bids to supply a unit for the Tartaruga Verde and Mestica fields after offering a daily rate of about $780,000, the people said.

Teekay said in an Aug. 8 presentation that it was nominated as lead bidder and that the deal was subject to final negotiations. It declined to provide additional comment in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg News. Petrobras and Schahin said they don’t comment on bidding processes. Modec didn’t respond to requests for comment. Odebrecht declined to comment.

Both of the rental rates for the so-called floating, production, storage and offloading vessels, or FPSOs, are still under negotiation, the people said. The Tartaruga FPSO has a higher day rate because it is a larger vessel that will cost more to build, one of the people said.

Largest Fleet

Petrobras has the largest fleet of FPSOs, which normally cost between $1 billion and $2 billion to build and are designed to produce oil in deep waters. The state-run producer is looking to boost competition in the market for offshore production equipment and reduce dependency on SBM Offshore NV, its main supplier that is currently suspended from bids because of an corruption investigation, said one of the people who has been present at meetings with Petrobras and its suppliers.

Schiedam, Netherlands-based SBM didn’t respond to an e-mailed request for comment. Chief Executive Officer Bruno Chabas said in an Aug. 6 conference call that SBM wouldn’t compete in the two ongoing tenders and it wants to work with Petrobras in the future. SBM’s internal investigation didn’t find anything improper in Brazil, Chabas said.

Petrobras, the most-indebted publicly-traded oil company, is increasing rental contracts instead of building its own platforms as it plans to add more than 70 new production units in the next 16 years.

“There is a clear decrease in ownership,” Andrew Cosgrove, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said in a telephone interview from Skillman, New Jersey. “This is a lot of money Petrobras can drive to exploration or their core business.”

SBM is Petrobras’s biggest supplier of floating units with 15 contracts, followed by BW Offshore NV with 14 and Modec with 11, according to the Sinaval shipyard industry group.

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