Asian Cos Participate in Pre-Salt Brazil FPSO Charter

MODEC, Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines have agreed to invest in the chartering of an FPSO to the Brazilian national oil company (Petrobras). The facility is being supplied to Petrobras for use at the giant deepwater pre-salt oil field currently under development off the Brazilian coast.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines finalized their capital investment in the Dutch company Tupi Pilot MV22 B.V. (hereinafter "MV22"), the subsidiary established by MODEC, Inc. to undertake this project. Further, on 30th March 2010, MV22 procured the financing for the project from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and private Japanese banks and signed the loan agreement.

MODEC, Inc. has been converting an existing VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) tanker into an FPSO under the ownership of MV22 for charter to Petrobras. The FPSO is expected to be engaged in oil production for 15 years (with an annual extension option) at the pre-salt area oil field off the Brazilian coast and the operation will commence at Tupi area in the 4th quarter of 2010.

Off the Brazilian coast, the vast oil reserves lie beneath a layer of rock and salt at a depth of between 5,000 and 6,000 metres. It is estimated that more FPSOs will be required to fully develop the area. As the world's first attempt to develop oil deposited beneath a layer of rock and salt, the oil industry shows strong interest on the progress of this project.