Brazil OSV Market
In the wake of the Subsea Vessel Brazil conference in Rio, Petrobras announced the approval to contract eight support vessels for its offshore activities. These are part of the 3rd Fleet OSV Renewal Plan (Prorefam). This is the 5th round and 4 vessels will be contracted from Bram Offshore, to be build at the Navship shipyard in the state of Santa Catarina, 3 from Starnav, with construction planned for the Detroit shipyard, also in Santa Catarina and 1 from Norskan, which will be built at the STX (Vard) shipyard in Niteroi, across the bridge from the city of Rio, where the Dof and Nordskan build all their Brazilian flagged ships.
This is good news for the shipyards involved and for the OSV market in general, as the Brazilian offshore maritime market is heavily dependent on Petrobras orders. At the start of the Subsea Vessel Brazil event, Daniel Del Rio, Managing Director of Westshore do Brasil, the local specialist on subsea vessels, gave a very enlightening presentation forecasting the future of the Brazilian subsea vessel market and it highlighted this dependency on Petrobras, with only 6 vessels on order not being for Petrobras. These were for Shell, Chevron and HRT, 1 of the vessels will be for subsea intervention and the rest are specialized IMR vessels.
The Prorefam project was launched in 2008 and contains plans to contract 146 vessels in total, over 7 rounds. The local content required for the construction phase is 50% for Anchor Handling and Tug Supply (AHTS) models, and 60% for Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) and Oil Spill Response Vessels (OSRV) models. 87 vessels had already been contracted before this round andproposals for the 6th round of contracts were received on February 4, and are currently undergoing technical review.
The 7th round will be launched in March and the respective contracts would be signed in the second half of this year. With exploration campaigns to begin at the Brazilian Equatorial margin, where Petrobras has less prospects to explore as it is concentrating mostly on the Pre-salt, leaving most of the blocks acquired during the 11th round of bidding to junior national players and foreign players, it can be expected that there will be more ordering and contracting of OSVs from non-Petrobras local and foreign companies with interests in the areas up north.