Petrobras Seeking Bids for Gulf of Mexico FPSO

AMSTERDAM Mar 21, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

SBM Offshore NV (36060.AE), a Dutch offshore technology provider to the oil and gas industry, will tender for the construction of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO, for Brazilian oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), SBM Offshore spokesman Hans Peereboom Wednesday told Dow Jones Newswires.

The spokesman declined to comment on details, but people familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires the contract has a value of around $600 million.

The people familiar with the situation added that Japanese company Modec Inc. (6269.TO) will also tender for the contract.

"SBM Offshore and Modec are definitely on the list," one of the people familiar with the process said.

Other interested companies could be Dutch independent company Bluewater and Norwegian firms Prosafe ASA (PRS.OS) and Seadrill Ltd. (SDRL.OS), the person added.

Petrobras wasn't available for comment.

The interested companies must submit their bids before mid-April 2007.

The FPSO for Petrobras is the first in the Gulf of Mexico. The Brazilian state-run oil company held exclusive negotiations with Dutch contractor Bluewater late last year. However, these talks broke down because of financial reasons, the people familiar with the negotiations told Dow Jones Newswires.

A spokesman for Bluewater said the company hasn't decided yet whether it will submit a new tender for the Petrobras FPSO.

Petrobras plans to begin production from the Cascade and Chinook fields in 2009.

Petrobras is the operator of Cascade and Chinook, owning 50% and 66.67% respectively. Devon Energy Corporation (DVN) owns the remaining 50% of Cascade while Total E&P USA, Inc., a subsidiary of TOTAL SA (TOT), owns 33.33% of Chinook Unit, it said.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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