Petrobras to use ultradeepwater drillship off Angola

A subsidiary of Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) will use the Petrobras 10000 ultradeepwater drillship for work off Angola.

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, Oct. 22 -- A subsidiary of Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) will use the Petrobras 10000 ultradeepwater drillship for work off Angola.

Transocean Ltd., which built the vessel, said the drilling contract is for 10 years. It has an agreement with the P&M Drilling International BV joint venture of Petrobras and Mitsui to acquire the rig under a 20-year capital lease contract.

The Petrobras 10000 is among 21 ultradeepwater floaters in the Transocean fleet and can operate in more than 10,000 ft of water.

It features Transocean's dual-activity drilling technology, allowing for parallel drilling operations. Other features include expanded completions capabilities and a variable deck load of more than 20,000 tonnes.

Petrobras is aggressively expanding its rig capacity, leading to worries about a shortfall in qualified rig personnel.

Recently Afonso Cardoso, Brazil’s ambassador to Angola, said Petrobras would invest $3 billion in Angola by 2012. The Macauhub news web site quoted Cardoso as saying that, after Brazil, Angola is where the company does most exploration.

In early 2006 Petrobras signed agreements in Angola to explore on Blocks 15 and 18/06 in the Congo basin, on Block 6 in the Kwanza basin, and on Block 26 in the Benguela basin. Petrobras operates all of the blocks except Block 6 (OGJ Online, Feb. 27, 2007).

The Brazilian company also holds interests in oil-producing Block 2 and exploration Block 34.

As operator of deepwater Block 18/06, it has a 30% interest in the unexplored part of a high-potential area. The other sector of that block contains the BP PLC-operated Plutonio project, a collection of several discoveries with 750 million bbl of reserves.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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