(EnergyAsia, August 10 2012, Friday) — Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd said its subsidiary, Fernvale Pte Ltd, has secured contracts from Sete Brasil Participações SA for the design and construction of five semisubmersible drilling rigs for a total sum of approximately US$4.1 billion.

The contracts for the rigs based on Keppel’s proprietary DSSTM 38E design follow through on the letter of intent signed by the two companies announced in April 2012.

To be individually delivered between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2019, the rigs offer improved capability and operability, making them well suited to meet the stringent requirements of the deepwater ‘Golden Triangle’ region of Brazil, Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.

According to Keppel O&M, the DSSTM 38E design is an innovative and cost-effective design, rated to drill to depths of 10,000 metres below the rotary table in 3,000 metres water depth. Each rig, with an operational displacement is approximately 45,000 tonnes, will have accommodation facilities to house a crew of up to 160 men.

Jointly developed by Keppel’s Deepwater Technology Group and Marine Structure Consultants, the rig is designed to stay in position via eight Azimuthing thrusters and the configurations comply with the American Bureau of Shipping Dynamic Positioned System (DPS-3) requirements.

Last December, Keppel O&M secured its first contract for the DSSTM 38E rig from Sete Brasil for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2015. The rig is under construction at Keppel’s BrasFELS yard in Angra dos Reis.

When completed, the six rigs will be chartered to Brazil’s state-owned oil and gas firm, Petrobras, for 15 years to drill for oil and gas in the pre-salt areas off the coast of southeastern Brazil.

Three of the rigs will be operated by Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás SA, two by Petroserv SA and one by Odebrecht Óleo e Gás SA.

Sete Brasil’s CEO, Joao Carlos Ferraz, said:

“We are pleased to ink the firm contracts with Keppel to design and build five additional semis for us at their established yard in Brazil. We and the drilling contractors are ready to work closely with Keppel on all six rigs, and I’m confident Keppel will deliver the quality rigs to us safely and on time.”

Tong Chong Heong, Keppel O&M’s CEO, said:

“We are privileged to be given this significant opportunity to continue to play a key role in the development of Brazil’s oil and gas industry. The preparation work on the semis is well underway, and we are ready to embark on their construction at our BrasFELS yard in Brazil.

“Our priority continues to be on the training and education of our current and additional workforce for these projects in Brazil as part of our productivity enhancement strategy.”

Keppel O&M, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corporation Limited, is a global leader in offshore rig design, construction and repair, ship repair and conversion, and specialised shipbuilding.

In 2000, Keppel O&M established its BrasFELS yard in Angra dos Reis in Brazil. It has gone on to achieve many firsts for the Brazilian offshore industry, including the construction of some of the world’s largest floating production units, P-52, P-51 and P-56 for Petrobras.

Keppel O&M is currently developing a 7.6 ha specialised shipbuilding facility, Keppel Singmarine Brasil, in Navegantes, Santa Catarina. Ahead of its opening, the yard has already secured two contracts from operators in Brazil to construct a series of six harbour tugs and two large-sized 4500dwt Platform Supply Vessels.

Sete Brasil was established by International and Brazilian investors including Petrobras and four of the country’s largest pension funds in December 2010. The Brazilian firm specialises in chartering drilling rigs and upstream equipment for the country’s pre-salt exploration works.