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SBM Offshore is sole bidder for giant Brazil FPSO

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Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras received only one proposal, from Dutch floater specialist SBM Offshore, in a bid to construct the Mero 4 oil production platform in the Santos Basin pre-salt, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Petrobras’ business plan foresees Mero 4 entering operation in 2025 with a capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of oil a day.

Petrobras and SBM declined to comment, Reuters said in a report.

One of the sources commented that it is the “first time in a long time that Petrobras has received only one proposal” in a bid, a sign that the platform chartering market may no longer have as much room to absorb new demands.

In January, Petrobras held the first bid for the contracting of its own platforms in more than seven years, while seeking to diversify its suppliers of production units.

On that occasion, the company received three proposals from consortia led by Keppel Corporation Ltd, Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd, for the construction of the P-78 and P-79 platforms.

According to previous information provided by Petrobras, the Mero field is the third largest in the pre-salt layer and is located in the Libra area, the first to be auctioned in Brazil under production sharing in 2013.

This year, Mero will receive its first definitive production platform, according to the business plan.

The area is operated by Petrobras, with a 40% stake, in partnership with oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Total each with a 20% stake, and 10% each held by Chinese companies CNODC and CNOOC.

SBM Offshore is the builder and operator of the Liza Destiny FPSO, producing oil offshore Guyana, and is currently moving forward with construction work for two additional oil production vessels for ExxonMobil’s Stabroek block operations offshore the country.

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