High demand leads to extremely tight Brazil offshore rig market

Bnamericas Published: Friday, January 20, 2023
High demand leads to extremely tight Brazil offshore rig market

Brazil’s offshore rig market is extremely tight due to high equipment demand, two local sources told BNamericas. 

The situation results from multiple offshore campaigns underway and planned by federal oil company Petrobras and private oil and gas companies. 

According to data from the navy, 29 offshore rigs are operating in the country, 20 of which chartered by Petrobras. 

Rig Type Owner Charterer
Norbe VIII Drillship Ocyan
Norbe IX Drillship Ocyan Petrobras
ODN II Drillship Ocyan Petrobras
ODN I Drillship Ocyan Petrobras
Etesco Takatsugu Drillship Etesco
Siem Helix 2 Drillship Siem Offshore
Petrobras 10000 Drillship Transocean
Deepwater Mikonos Drillship Transocean Petrobras
Deepwater Corcovado Drillship Transocean Petrobras
SSV Victoria Semissubmersible Hibernia Marine Petrobras
Carolina Drillship Carolina Marine
Atlantic Star Semissubmersible Constellation
Brava Star Drillship Constellation Shell
King Maker Semissubmersible PRIO
Valaris Renaissance Drillship Valaris
West Tellus Drillship Seadrill
Ocean Courage Semissubmersible Brasdrill
Laguna Star Drillship Constellation Petrobras
Norbe VI Semissubmersible Ocyan PRIO
Gold Star Semissubmersible Constellation Petrobras
Noble Developer Semissubmersible Noble/Maersk Karoon
Valaris DS-4 Drillship Ensco do Brasil
West Saturn Drillship Seadrill ExxonMobil
Lone Star Semissubmersible Constellation Petrobras
Alpha Star Semissubmersible Constellation Enauta
West Carina Drillship Seadrill Petrobras
Amaralina Star Drillship Constellation Petrobras
Siem Helix 1 Drillship Siem Offshore Trident Energy 
West Jupiter Drillship Seadrill Petrobras

Source: Brazilian navy

One unit Petrobras hired is Ocyan's ODN II, which will drill a well in the Foz do Amazonas basin. 

Maersk/Noble’s Noble Developer rig is carrying out works for Karoon in the Patola field, after which it will be moved to the Australian company’s Neon field to drill the first of potentially two control wells.

Then, the same rig is expected to drill a well for Shell in exploration block C-M-659, in Campos basin

The Anglo-Dutch major has two rigs contracted: Constellation’s Brava Star and Seadrill’s West Tellus, both operating in Santos basin

Valaris’ Renaissance rig is working for TotalEnergies in Santos and will possibly drill Petronas’ first well in the country later this year. 

Constellation's Alpha Star rig (pictured) is currently chartered by Brazil’s Enauta, which is the operator of the Atlanta field, in the Santos basin. 

Another local private firm, PRIO (formerly PetroRio), is using its King Maker well intervention rig and Ocyan's Norbe VI semisubmersible unit in the Campos basin, where Trident Energy is also carrying out intervention works with Siem Offshore’s Siem Helix 1.

And ExxonMobil has Seadrill’s West Saturn rig under contract. The equipment is currently docked at the Jurong Shipyard, in Espírito Santo state. 

Additional rigs will be necessary to meet the demand of companies like BW Energy, which is expected to drill a well in the Golfinho field in March, and 3R Petroleum, which has several campaigns planned for this year.

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