A record at SBM Offshore: the company, originally from Schiedam, has secured the largest project financing in its 55-year history.
It concerns an amount of 1.6 billion dollars, which can be used to pay for the commissioning of a floating drilling platform in Brazil. The loan comes from a consortium of thirteen international banks and has a term of fourteen years.
The credit financing revolves around the commissioning of the Sepetiba, a ship-cum-drilling platform that is currently being completed in China. The Brazilian state oil company Petrobras leases it for a period of 23 years from SBM Offshore. The Sepetiba, which bears the name of a neighborhood in the west of Rio de Janeiro, is expected to be ready for use in 2022.
Also read:SBM Offshore is back again
For SBM Offshore, the collaboration with Petrobras concluded in 2019 was a major boost. Due to involvement in a Brazilian corruption scandal in the period 1996-2011, SBM wasted years and tens of millions in legal proceedings – in addition to which it was not allowed to compete for contracts from Petrobras. Ultimately, SBM Offshore settled in 2019 for the equivalent of 48 million euros, after which it made a successful bid for the project in which the Sepetiba will be used.
Platform Sepetiba drills for oil fields 180 kilometers off the coast at Rio
Drilling floating for oil
Oil fields will be exploited from the platform about 180 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Because the seabed is much too deep for a fixed platform, a ship is chosen, explains ING analyst Quirijn Mulder. “It makes a difference whether you drill a few hundred meters in Norway or off the coast of Brazil – where in some places you are two kilometers from the water surface,” says Mulder. have to go another five to seven kilometers into the bottom before they get to oil.”
The drilling activities take place on the seabed with so-called sub seainstallations, which are connected by cables to the ship floating above. These cables bring oil, gas, water and grit to the surface, which are split on the surface on the ship. The oil is stored, the gas goes back into the field – and is usually used to maintain the pressure in the field and bring new oil to the surface. Until now, the gas cannot be produced commercially because there is no gas infrastructure.
Five boats on the way
Even though the funding took 1.6 billion years to raise, the record isn’t expected to hold for long. “SBM Offshore is now building five boats at the same time, two of which are still looking for project financing,” said ING analyst Mulder. “One is similar in size, but the other, Petrobras’ Almirante Tamandare for the Buzios field, is a bit bigger than the Sepetiba.”
For example, the Sepetiba has a storage capacity of 180,000 barrels, but the Tamandare can handle 225,000 barrels per day. Mulder: “We think that SBM still has to raise a good 3 billion dollars for these last projects, presumably sometime in 2023.”
SBM Offshore completes record loan
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