Singapore’s Keppel quashes EIG’s conspiracy claims

Singapore’s conglomerate Keppel has been linked to a conspiracy case in Brazil, involving a now bankrupt drilling contractor Sete Brasil.

The Singaporean company said that it, along with its offshore rig building subsidiary Keppel Offshore & Marine, has been named as a defendant in an action started by Investment fund EIG against Brazilian oil company Petrobras. EIG filed a claim the United States District Court, District of Columbia.

According to a statement by Keppel, EIG alleges that the defendants took part in an unlawful conspiracy further to which EIG was induced to invest over US$221 million in Sete Brasil Participacoes SA.

“Keppel denies these baseless allegations and will vigorously defend the action. We will provide further updates as appropriate,” Keppel said on Thursday.

The news comes a week after Keppel’s compatriot, and rival, Sembcorp Marine said it was named a defendant in a similar complaint filed by EIG against Petrobras regarding the investment in Sete Brasil.

Sete Brasil was established in 2011 to build, own and operate a series of ultra-deepwater drillships and semi-submersibles to develop the pre-salt oil fields off Brazil’s Atlantic coast and to be used by Petrobras. However, Sete Brazil in April filed for bankruptcy protection as its only client Petrobras failed to book a big enough drilling rig order, cutting the initial plan for 28 rigs down to ten.

Keppel has six semi-submersible rig orders with Sete Brazil, while Sembcorp Marine has seven drillships.

Similarly to Keppel, Sembcorp Marine said the claims against it and its Jurong Shipyard were “entirely without merit and baseless.”

Sembcorp Marine said it had not been served with the proceedings but if served, it “will rigorously defend the suit.”

Update: June 2, 2016

In a statement on Thursday, June 2, Sembcorp Marine said it has been been served with the summons, along with its subsidiary Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd.

“We believe that the claim is baseless and without merit, and will rigorously contest the claim,” Sembcorp Marine said.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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