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Petrobras pushes P-71 quick fix off Brazil

Brazilian giant issues tender with early delivery incentives to replace Santos basin floater's lost power generation modules

Brazilian operator Petrobras has issued a tender offering domestic and international contractors incentives if they can come up with a fast-track solution for the fabrication and delivery of two power generation modules for the delayed P-71 floating production, storage and offloading unit.

Two earlier modules, each holding a two-turbine set of power generation units, were completely lost in May when a transport barge sank off the coast of Itajai, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

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The modules were being towed for topsides integration at the Jurong Aracruz shipyard, located in Espirito Santo state.

Petrobras is now understood to be in advanced negotiations with German conglomerate Siemens, with a view to re-acquiring four Dresser Rand turbines that were sold back to the manufacturer when the oil company was forced to scale back its investment plans.

Eight such turbines became surplus to requirements when two FPSOs — the P-72 and P-73 — were removed from the oil company’s ambitious ramp-up plan. Siemens repurchased the turbines and put them into storage in Amsterdam.

The P-71 will be deployed in the Santos basin, either on concession area BM-S-11, where Petrobras is partnered by international oil companies Shell and Galp Energia, or on BM-S-11A, where Total is an additional partner.

Replacing the lost power generation modules has a direct impact on production curves for these companies as it holds up commissioning. As with others in the Petrobras “replicant” series, the P-71 FPSO will have capacity to process 150,000 barrels per day of crude and close to 6 million cubic metres per day of gas.

The P-71 was originally earmarked for the Sururu field, but has also been considered for Lula West, and final location is still to be confirmed.

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In replacing the sunken modules, Petrobras had the option of placing the whole order with Siemens, as the German company offered to use its own facility in Batam, Indonesia.

Upstream understands that a different route was taken, and that several domestic and international fabrication companies have been invited to bid to supply modules that will include steel structures, piping, electrical systems and valves.

Petrobras has asked for bids to be submitted by 4 October and for delivery on a tight 11-month deadline. The oil company is also offering notional discounts of $50,000 for each day of early delivery — up to a ceiling of 60 days — hoping to select the fastest solution.

Some Brazilian companies admitted they might struggle to compete with Asian rivals due to the longer lead time on some items, such as heat conductors and valves.

On the other hand, Chinese suppliers would also be obliged to set up locally based teams for the certification process in Brazil. One of the companies in the frame is CIMC Raffles, the yard which is building the P-71 hull for Petrobras, but Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry is also a possible bidder.

Delivery of the hull is expected in the final quarter of 2019.

Upstream understands that Thailand’s BJC has emerged as favourite for supplying steel pancake module structures, after earning praise for similar work on the contract for the P-74 and P-76 floaters, now installed on the Buzios field.

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It was not immediately clear if Sembcorp Marine's Brazilian yard, Jurong Aracruz, has been invited to bid on the power generation modules.

“Jurong Aracruz is the integration yard, so fabricating there would cut out the risk and the cost of the transport operation,” one source noted.

However, Petrobras and Jurong Aracruz are already dealing with commercial issues relating to a one-year delay in delivery of the P-68 FPSO. The delay is reportedly due to carryover from a hull-building job that started in Brazil, then moved to Cosco in China before shifting to Jurong Aracruz for topsides integration.

The two modules that sank were fabricated by MGT, a joint venture venture between Brazilian firms DM Construtora and TKK Engenharia.

The barge is owned by Brazilian service company Locar Guindastes e Transportes and was being towed by the TS Favorito vessel, owned by another Brazilian firm, Tranship Transportes Intermodais.

The towing operation was the target of strong criticism among Brazilian industry sources.

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