Illustration; Source: Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A (PPSA)

Petrobras taps Seatrium for construction of $8.15 billion FPSO pair

Brazilian state-owned oil and gas giant Petrobras has hired Singapore-headquartered Seatrium Limited for the supply of two floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) units, which will be deployed at its fields in the pre-salt Santos Basin off the coast of Brazil.

Illustration; Source: Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A (PPSA)

Following an international tender, Petrobras, acting as the operator of Atapu and Sepia consortiums, has awarded two newbuild contracts, valued at approximately S$11 billion ($8.15 billion), to Seatrium for the construction of FPSOs P-84 and P-85. The Singapore-based player underlines that these high throughput FPSOs will be deployed at the Atapu and Sépia fields in the eastern part of the Santos Basin, approximately 200 kilometers offshore of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The FPSO duo is said to be a part of the Brazilian energy heavyweight’s new generation of such units, characterized by a high production capacity that prioritizes sustainable practices with new technologies. Each of them is expected to have a production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and a gas processing capacity of 10 million cubic meters per day (Sm3 /d).

Chris Ong, CEO of Seatrium, commented: “We are honoured to be selected by Petrobras through a rigorous tender process to supply the P-84 and P-85 FPSO vessels, solidifying our position as the preferred partner for transformative projects. Through the One Seatrium Delivery Model, we are integrated globally to deliver cost-effective, value-added solutions to our esteemed customers.

“Leveraging our worldwide engineering, procurement and project management expertise in close collaboration with our customers, we will create quality assets with the highest safety standards and a lower carbon footprint, shaping the industry for a greener future.”

Seatrium Group signs ground-breaking P-84 and P-85 contracts with Petrobras; Source: Seatrium
Seatrium Group signs ground-breaking P-84 and P-85 contracts with Petrobras; Source: Seatrium

Furthermore, Seatrium emphasizes that both FPSOs will incorporate technologies such as zero routine flaring and venting, variable speed drives, and measures to control emissions and capture CO2, including an all-electric concept, which focuses on efficient power generation and increased energy efficiency to achieve a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity.

According to the Singapore-headquartered firm, these features are expected to enhance operational efficiency and curb environmental impact, showcasing its commitment to “responsible and sustainable” operations. The construction phase for the FPSOs is slated to kick off in the first quarter of 2025, with the final delivery expected to be in 2029.

Moreover, Seatrium’s facilities in Brazil, China, and Singapore will be tasked with manufacturing the modules, weighing 60,000 metric tonnes, with the outsourced hull and accommodation transported to Singapore for topside module integration and commissioning. Once integration and commissioning have been done in Singapore, the FPSOs will be towed to the Atapu and Sépia fields for offshore commissioning.

The company’s current order book includes four other FPSO newbuilds for Petronas, including P-78, P-80, P-82, and P-83. The first oil from the new units at the Atapu and Sépia fields is anticipated between 2029 and 2030. Since these fields currently produce through two units, P-70 on the Atapu field and Carioca on the Sépia field, the new FPSOs will be the second units at their respective fields. Petrobras underlines that the FPSOs P-84 and P-85 are set to slash the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by 30% per barrel of oil equivalent produced.

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This is expected to be achieved due to the benefits of the all-electric configuration, optimizations in the processing plant to increase energy efficiency, and the use of several technologies, such as zero routine ventilation, capturing of deep seawater, use of speed variators in pumps and compressors, cogeneration, zero routine flaring, valves with requirements for low fugitive emissions and capture, use and geological storage of CO2 from gas produced.

While Petrobras holds a 65.7% stake in the shared reservoir of Atapu, in partnership with Shell (16.7%), TotalEnergies (15%), Petrogal Brasil (1.7%) and Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A (PPSA) (0,9%), the data for the shared reservoir of Sépia is different with Petrobras holding a 55.3% stake, in partnership with TotalEnergies (16.9%), Petronas (12.7%), QatarEnergy (12.7%), and Petrogal Brasil (2.4%).

The contract awards to Seatrium come shortly after the Brazilian giant outlined plans to start up 14 FPSOs from 2024 to 2028, accounting for a third of the global FPSO orders. This is aligned with Petrobras’ Strategic Plan 2024-2028‘ spotlighting its intention to dole out $102 billion over the next five years, with $11.5 billion earmarked for projects propelling its decarbonization agenda forward. 

Seatrium has secured multiple new FPSO assignments this year. Recently, the company got a deal with SBM Offshore for the topside fabrication and integration of the FPSO Jaguar, which will work at ExxonMobil’s Whiptail oil development on the Stabroek block off the coast of Guyana.

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In addition, the firm won a contract with MODEC for the installation and integration of topside modules on board the FPSO Errea Wittu, which will work at ExxonMobil-operated Uaru field offshore Guyana.