Friday, August 19, 2011
by Trey Cowan
Brazilian offshore drilling activities are faring much better than worldwide operations. Total average utilization for Brazil's mobile offshore drilling fleet is 94 percent, which compares quite favorably to the global average of 80 percent. Similarly, average dayrates are much higher in Brazil than compared to the rest of the world. Currently, rigs (i.e. drillships, jackups, and semisubs combined) are garnering rates in the high-$310s while global average dayrates are in the mid-$230s.
The favorable disparity for both operating efficiency and dayrates is due largely to fleet mix. Most of the rigs operating off the coast of Brazil are exploring for oil in deeper waters. Hence, very little drilling in the region is accomplished using jackups; which typically command the lowest dayrates in the industry.
Brazil's semisub fleet utilization (a regional fleet of 52 competitively marketed rigs) is 98 percent, quite high by industry standards. Its drillship fleet, while much smaller at 17 marketed rigs, will continue to grow as newbuild equipment is delivered into the region. The jackup fleet is the smallest of the mix with just three competitive rigs on lease in the region. All three are currently under contract. Given the vast quantity of Brazil's discoveries, demand for offshore rigs shows only signs of growing as the country looks to further tap its ample reserves.
Recent News From the Region
- Pacific Drilling announced that its ultra-deepwater drillship the Pacific Mistral has been awarded a three-year contract by Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) for operations in Brazil. The contract is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2011. Estimated maximum contract revenues, including mobilization and client requested modifications, are approximately $536 million.
- Rockhopper recently completed interpretation of its fast track new seismic data in PL032 and PL033. Seismic data shows that the Sea Lion Main Complex ("SLMC") will extend to the south and a new high case area extends over 90km2. Also, two new fan prospects were identified within the new seismic data, Casper and Kermit. Following completion of drilling operations on well 14/10-6, Rockhopper is committed to drill three further wells using the Ocean Guardian.
- Petrobras has commenced production from the P-56 platform at the Marlim Sul field in the Campos Basin. The unit began production through well 7-MLS-163HPRJS and will potentially generate around 16,000 bopd. The P-56 platform, installed in a water depth of 5,479 feet (1,670 meters), is designed to handle up to 100 Mcf/d when it reaches maximum capacity. This is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2012.
- The Sevan Brasil, which is under construction at Cosco Shipyard in China, is on schedule to be delivered during the first quarter of 2012. Upon delivery, the rig will set sail for Brazil to begin its six-year contract with Petrobras.
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