Equinor orders shuttle tankers for Roncador field in Brazil

The crude oil production from Equinor’s newly acquired 25% interest in the Roncador oil field in Brazil will be lifted and transported by shuttle tankers. Therefore, Equinor has now entered into contracts for two newbuilt shuttle tanker with the shipowner Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers (Knutsen).

Photo of Bodil Knutsen, a current ship within the Knutsen fleet. (Photo: Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers AS)

The tankers will be built at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, Equinor said on Thursday.

With the acquisition of the interest in the Roncador field, the third largest producing field in Brazil, the Equinor’s equity production in Brazil is increasing to around 100.000 boe per day, an increase of around 60.000 boe per day. Equinor completed the acquisition of the 25 percent non-operated interest in the Roncador oil field from Brazil’s Petrobras back in June 2018.

Equinor said that, with the newbuilt shuttle tankers, a reliable and robust solution for the evacuation of the equity oil production from the field has been obtained. The crude will be transferred to conventional tankers and marketed to customer around the world.

“We have now secured the long-term solution for the lifting of the Roncador crude” says Kjetil Johnsen, head of Shipping in Equinor.

“With these modern and fuel-efficient vessels, we will evacuate the crude oil in a safe, sustainable and cost-efficient way. We are very pleased to enter into this contract with Knutsen with extensive experience from shuttle tanker operations in Brazil.

The vessels are designed for operations in Brazilian waters and are optimized for intended trading pattern. The vessels will come in operation in 2020 and meets all requirements for offshore loading in Brazil. In addition to the new shipping capacity for the Roncador production, Equinor has seven conventional tankers on long-term contracts in operation for the Peregrino field.

“This acquisition of the share in Roncador field is a key element in the building of Brazil as a core area for Equinor” says Veronica Rezende Coelho, head of Partner-operated Licenses & Area Development in the business area Development and Production Brazil.

“With these new shuttle tankers, we are securing value creation along the whole value chain from production to market.”

Photo from the contract signing, Trygve Seglem (left), Knutsen OAS, and Alex Murray, Equinor ASA.
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