The consortium of the promising pre-salt Libra area in the Santos Basin needs to be released from the current local content obligation so that the pilot platform for the project, scheduled for 2020, will be tendered, according to Solange Guedes, Petrobras Exploration and Production director.
The executive is confident in a waiver from the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP) for the release of the contractual obligation.
“Given the consistency and the very relevant amount of information we have presented the agency, the Libra consortium believes that the waiver will be granted by the ANP,” she said.
Solange pointed out that the bid considered meeting the local content index provided in the contract, starting in 2016, but had to be reformulated because Petrobras had received very high contractural offers due to the local content obligation.
This is not to say that the company will not be able to hire equipment made in Brazil. The idea is that the project be carried out without impact on the cost and term caused by the obligation of local content.
The company also considers as a negative factor, for the bidding of Libra, the impossibility of the vessel rental giant SBM to participate, since the company is prohibited from contracting with Petrobras until a leniency agreement is signed.
In addition to the Libra platform, Petrobras is hiring a platform for the Sepia field, also in the Santos Basin, and two other platforms are still to be tendered this year, according to Roberto Moro, director of development for Production and Technology.
He said a platform takes about a year to be tendered and three years to be built.
Hiring companies based in Brazil has been difficult since a large number are barred from closing new deals with Petrobras after evidence that they had participated in the billion dollar scheme of corruption investigated by Lava Jato.
Petrobras’ director of Governance, Risk and Compliance, João Elek, pointed out that a solution to the company’s injunction will be negotiated during the first quarter, but did not go into detail.
Petrobras last week opened a tender for the construction of the Comperj Natural Gas Processing Unit (UPGN) in Itaboraí (RJ), inviting about 30 companies, many of them foreign companies with some presence in Brazil.
Petrobras president, Pedro Parente, pointed out that the company has no contractual obligation of local content in the refining and distribution area and explained that foreign companies operating in Brazil also generate employment and income.
“To have a bias and an ideological stalemate against those who come from abroad to invest in our country, in my view, is contrary to the interests of our own country … what we need is investment,” Parente said.
Comperj’s UPGN, which still needs about 2 billion Reais, is expected to require up to five months to be contracted and another two and a half years to complete. Approximately 500 million Reais have already been invested in assets and 30 percent of the infrastructure has already been built.