BG GROUP has signed a $3.5bn (£2.bn) contract to build eight giant floating drilling platforms to help pump oil from a string of discoveries off the coast of Brazil.
BG and Petrobras, Brazil’s state oil company, said the joint order for the new vessels had been placed with private Brazilian company Engevix Engenharia.
BG will pay $911m of the total, with the balance coming from Petrobras, Repsol of Spain and Portugal’s Galp, joint venture partners in Brazil’s Santos Basin oil project.
The floating production units known as FPSOs will have the capacity to process up to 150,000 barrels per day of oil and 6m cubic meters of gas per day and are expected to be in operation by 2017, Petrobras said in a statement.
Construction of the hulls will start in March at a shipyard in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul with 70 per cent of their content sourced in Brazil. The first two should be delivered in 2013 and the rest completed by 2015. Of the eight units, six will be used in the Santos Basin blocs where the Tupi and Iracema fields are located and which are operated by Petrobras, BG Group and GALP. The other two will be used in a bloc containing the Guara and Carioca fields.