Photo: BrasFELS Keppel aerial; Source: Keppel

Keppel snatches contract to build FPSO for world’s largest deepwater oil field

Brazilian oil and gas giant Petrobras has signed a $2.3 billion worth contract with Keppel Shipyard to build the P-78 FPSO, the seventh unit to be installed in the Búzios field, in the Santos Basin pre-salt area.

P-77 FPSO is operating on the Buzios field - Petrobras
P-77 FPSO is operating on the Buzios field; Source: Petrobras

Following a confirmation by Keppel in April 2021 that it was in talks with Petrobras for a contract to build an FPSO for the Buzios field, Petrobras on Monday revealed that the contract has now been signed.

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According to Petrobras’ statement on Monday, with a processing capacity of 180 thousand barrels of oil per day and 7.2 million cubic meters of gas per day, the platform is of the FPSO type, a floating unit that produces, stores, and transfers oil. It is scheduled for delivery in 2024.

In a separate statement on Monday, Keppel said the value of the contract is estimated to be around $2.3 billion.

As detailed by Petrobras, the supply of the FPSO will result from the engineering, procurement and construction contracting modality and from Petrobras’ strategy of developing new projects for its own platforms, incorporating the lessons learned from the FPSOs already installed in the pre-salt, including contracting and construction aspects.

The builder said that Keppel O&M will fabricate the topside modules weighing 43,000 metric tonnes (MT) at its shipyards in Singapore, China and Brazil, as well as undertake the integration and commissioning works of the FPSO.

Keppel O&M’s partner, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI), will provide the 85,000MT hull and the living quarters for 240 persons. Upon completion, the FPSO will transit to the Buzios field, where Keppel O&M will carry out the final phase of offshore commissioning works.

Under a requirement set in the public pre-qualification, the contract foresees compliance with the local content of 25 per cent, with services to be executed in Brazil through a partnership or subcontracting of national companies.

The project foresees the interconnection of 13 wells to the FPSO, 6 of them producers and 7 injectors, through a subsea infrastructure composed of rigid production and injection pipelines and flexible service pipelines.

The Búzios field, discovered in 2010, is the largest deepwater oil field in the world. The field should reach the end of the decade with daily production above 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, becoming the Petrobras asset with the highest production.

Currently, there are four units operating in Búzios, which account for more than 20 per cent of Petrobras’ total production.

The fifth and sixth platforms – FPSOs Almirante Barroso and Almirante Tamandaré – are under construction, and the eighth and ninth units – FPSOs P-79 and P-80 – are in the contracting process.

Petrobras has also recently kicked off a bidding process for the acquisition of a ninth FPSO unit for the Búzios field.