July 24, 2019
ExxonMobil began the first technical visits to some of the rigs offered in its bid for chartering a drilling unit. The oil company’s preliminary list includes at least five drillships: Ensco’s DS-9, Constellation’s Amaralina Star and Brava Star, and Seadrill’s West Tellus and West Saturn.
The vessels were offered at the best prices at the tender held at the end of June. ExxonMobil maintains confidentiality about the process, which is conducted by the company’s headquarters in Houston, USA. Companies like Ocyan and Transocean also participated in the process.
The five pre-selected drillships are in Brazil. The DS-9 runs a campaign in the field of Lapa to Total. West Tellus operates in Libra and will have its contract finalized in October, while West Saturn campaigns for Equinor in the Carcará and North Carcará areas.
Industry executives see Seadrill as a favorite. The bet is that the Norwegian company, which already has experience in operating for ExxonMobil, has submitted an aggressive proposal to try to secure the contract with the US oil company.
ExxonMobil’s campaign will include the drilling of two firm wells and three contingents, implying an operation lasting six to eight months. The rig will have to be able to operate on 3,600 m of water depth and be equipped with dual activity. The charter contract must be formalized between the end of September and the beginning of October.
The work will probably start with block C-M-789, in Campos Basin, acquired in the 15th round of the ANP. The campaign should also include the Tita area, from the October 2018 5th sharing auction, as well as Sergipe’s deepwater assets.
Exxon requires the winning company to keep the rig available in Brazil for three years. After the campaign is concluded, the rig will be in the country without receiving a daily fee and may be offered in other bids. If the contracting company can allocate the equipment to another project, the oil company will need to be consulted. If they choose to exercise the preemptive right, they will have to pay the rig operator daily fee even if the unit is stopped.
ExxonMobil has ongoing licensing processes with Ibama for all its assets operated in Brazil. The oil company has 15 blocks as operator (six in Sergipe Basin, four in Campos, three in Santos, one in Ceará Basin and one in Potiguar), as well as stakes in 11 other areas, including block BM-S- 8, where is the discovery of Carcará, and North of Carcará, operated by Equinor.
Oil portfolios in the 15 areas could lead to the drilling of more than 20 exploratory wells.
Source: BE Petroleo