Petrobras has just issued a tender to contract up to eight ultra-deepwater rigs for drilling operations offshore Brazil, according to Esgian.
The consulting firm reports that the tender is divided into three lots. Lot 1 is for up to two high-spec rigs with drilling capabilities in water depths up to 3,000m (~10,000ft). Lot 2 is for up to five high-spec rigs with drilling capabilities in water depths up to 2,400m (~8,000ft). Lot 3 is for one rig with drilling capabilities in water depths up to 2,400m (~8,000ft).
The exact contract start date is not specified, but lot 1 and lot 2 are expected to start between January and November 2023, while lot 3 is expected to start between December 2022 and September 2023. The contract durations are also substantial. Lot 1 has the longest contract duration with a firm period of four years, while lot 2 and lot 3 have a firm period of three years. All of the contracts will be extendable for a period equal to the firm period.
Esgian says that there are currently thirty-two floaters operating in South America capable of drilling at >8,000ft (with more drillships mobilizing this year), most of which are on long-term contracts and will not be available for this tender.
There are thirteen floaters that will potentially be available before November 2023, however, some of these units are expected to have their contracts extended further. With the current demand and supply in the region, additional floaters will have to be sourced from other regions.