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Subsea 7 Poised to Clinch Petrobras Prize

13 January 2011

Subsea 7 has submitted the lowest bid in a bumper Petrobras tender to install and supply most of the equipment for a novel tethered riser buoy project featuring steel catenary risers on two crucial pre-salt production projects.

It is understood that the Anglo-Norwegian company bid a price of about $590 million to provide the engineering, procurement and construction services on four riser buoys, two for each floating production, storage and offloading unit. The FPSOs are destined for the Guara and Tupi Northeast fields respectively.

The riser contract also encompasses the supply of components for the buoys, plus the supply and installation of SCRs and pipeline end terminals (PLETS). Petrobras will supply flexible flowlines and flexible jumpers, but installation will be the responsibility of the contractor, sources said.

Subsea edged out Saipem and Acergy in the bidding process, and is understood to be offering a reel lay solution for pipeline installation. The impending merger with Acergy could, however, bring J Lay solutions into the picture, one source suggested.

The tender was proceeded by a design competition, in which Subsea 7 and Saipem offered riser buoy solutions, and Acergy proposed a riser tower.

Subsea 7 is now in advanced contracting talks with Petrobras, and the proposal is expected to go to the oil company's board of directors within a few weeks, sources said.

The risers for the Guara FPSO are supposed to be ready by December 2012, with first oil scheduled for early 2013, while the unit for Tupi North East is scheduled for 2014.

The two FPSOs will each produce up to 120,000 barrels per day of crude and will be installed in between 2200 and 2300 metres of water. Each FPSO will boast around 20 SCRs, representing an important departure from Petrobras's familiar reliance on flexibles.