Singapore rig builders let off hook in Sete Brazil case


A U.S. judge has let Singapore’s offshore rig builders Keppel and Sembcorp Marine  off the hook in a case involving an investment fund, Brazil’s driller Sete and the oil company Petrobras.

To remind, in mid-2016 Keppel and Sembcorp Marine were named defendants in an action initiated by EIG Management Co and eight of its managed funds (EIG) against Brazil’s Petrobras.

In relation to the action, both Keppel and Sembcorp Marine, along with their subsidiaries involved in rig building, were added as defendants along with other shipyards and entities.

EIG had alleged that the defendants took part in an unlawful conspiracy further to which EIG was induced to invest over $221 million in Brazilian drilling firm Sete Brasil Participacoes SA.

EIG had said the rig builders were a part of a kick-back scheme, alleging they paid bribes to get rig contracts, further claiming that if it had known of those corruption schemes, it wouldn’t have invested in Sete.

Both Keppel and Sembcorp Marine denied the allegations as “without merit and baseless.”

Sete Brasil was established in 2011 to build, own and operate a series of ultra-deepwater drillships and semi-submersibles to develop the pre-salt oil fields off Brazil’s Atlantic coast and to be used by Petrobras. However, Sete Brazil in April 2016 filed for bankruptcy protection as its only client Petrobras failed to book a big enough drilling rig order, cutting the initial plan for 28 rigs down to ten.

In separate statements on Monday, April 3, 2017, Keppel and Sembcorp Marine confirmed that the United States District Court, District of Columbia, has ruled in favor of the two companies and has dismissed the claims against them.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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