Bloomberg: Petrobras Hires 80% of Deepwater Rigs, Inflates Rents
May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, leased about 80 percent of the world's deepest-drilling offshore rigs to explore prospects including the Western Hemisphere's biggest discovery in decades.See video here.
Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based company is known, is hiring rigs that can drill in at least 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) of water, Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio Gabrielli said in an interview last week. The world has 21 such vessels, according to Rigzone.com, which tracks the offshore drilling industry.
The company's ``insatiable'' demand is forcing producers including Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc to pay more as they compete for the remaining units, said Kjell Erik Eilertsen and Truls Olsen, analysts at Fearnley Fonds AS in Oslo. Explorers that don't have rigs under contract may delay projects or pay rents of more than $600,000 a day.
``The oil majors have their backs against the wall as Petrobras has aggressively locked up significant rig capacity,'' said Omar Nokta, head of maritime research at Dahlman Rose & Co. in New York.
Petrobras is negotiating for as many as 17 more vessels to probe the Tupi discovery and neighboring fields, said Bill Herbert, an analyst at Simmons & Co. International in Houston. The company already controls almost seven times as much capacity as the next biggest user of rigs that can drill in 7,500 feet of water, according to research by Dahlman Rose. ...
Petrobras is in talks with Transocean Inc., the world's biggest offshore driller, to extend leases as much as three years ahead of expiration, Robert Long, chief executive officer for the Houston-based contractor, said last week.