Global upstream oil and gas services provider SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad (“SapuraKencana”), has clocked a key milestone in its international operations by starting ahead of schedule its first pipe-laying support vessel (PLSV) work for state-run PETROBRAS in the pre-salt waters off Brazil.
This maiden foray for the SapuraKencana in Brazilian waters was undertaken by its brand new PLSV "Sapura Diamante" on June 28, 2014 -- more than 3 months ahead of the original contractual delivery date.
SapuraKencana's offshore operations in Brazil for PETROBRAS are being executed there by its Brazilian joint venture company Sapura Navegacao Maritima (SNM), a 50:50 venture with offshore drilling firm Seadrill.
"This is indeed a key milestone for us as it signals the start of SapuraKencana's PLSV operations in Brazil, our single biggest foreign market," said Tan Sri Dato' Seri Shahril Shamsuddin, President and Group CEO of SapuraKencana Petroleum.
"Soon revenues from this new geographical area of operation are set to start contributing to the Group's future results."
"We are proud to have been able to keep our promise and deliver ahead of schedule the first of the six PLSVs contracted by Petrobras," he added. "We are confident that we will be able to fulfill our remaining contractual obligations to PETROBRAS in similar fashion and continue developing more local expertise in Brazil."
In November 2011 and in June 2013, SapuraKencana's joint venture company in Brazil, SNM, was awarded two major contracts by PETROBRAS worth a total of US$4.1 billion to build and operate a total of 6 PLSVs for offshore work in Brazil.
Three of the PLSVs from the contract awarded in 2011 would be on 5+5 year contracts while the remaining 3 from the contract in 2013 would be on 8+8 year contracts.
The PLSVs contracted by PETROBRAS to develop deep sea oilfields at depths of up to 3,000 metres will be fitted with world class Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) developed and built by Sapurakencana's Australian subsidiary, Total Marine Technology Pty Ltd.
PETROBRAS contracts make up a substantial portion of SapuraKencana's current order book which stands at around RM28 billion.
SapuraKencana's joint venture company in Brazil already employs more than 300 people to provide offshore support services and work as offshore crew. Training and development is being provided continuously to upgrade local employee skills and there are plans to ramp up the number of workers to around 1,000 by the year 2016 when all contracted PLSVs are delivered and are in full operation.
The fully integrated PLSV, "Sapura Diamante", built by IHC Merwede in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is the first of the 6 vessels contracted by PETROBRAS to have been deployed for work.
Of the remaining five, the second vessel "Sapura Topazio" was recently launched in Rotterdam and is now being fitted for work. It is expected to be put into service in Brazil by the end of this year.
Still under construction are the PLSVs "Sapura Onix", which is expected to go into service in mid-2015, and the "Sapura Jade", "Sapura Esmeralda" and "Sapura Rubi" which are set to be delivered progressively in 2016.