Energy

Brazil's Ocyan aims for bigger offshore platforms to cement comeback

Offshore oil industry supplier Ocyan plans to participate in bids for much bigger platforms than it currently has in Brazilian waters, the world's largest market for floating platforms, Chief Executive Roberto Bischoff told Reuters.

By Sabrina Valle

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Offshore oil industry supplier Ocyan plans to participate in bids for much bigger platforms than it currently has in Brazilian waters, the world's largest market for floating platforms, Chief Executive Roberto Bischoff told Reuters.

He said Ocyan is eyeing contracts potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars for deepwater platforms serving state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA <PETR4.SA>. Petrobras is expanding offshore activity as other oil majors kill projects.

The highly productive Atlantic fields, known as the pre-salt, guarantee the resilience of long-term projects despite lower oil prices during the coronavirus pandemic, the CEO said.

"Multiple opportunities are coming up," Bischoff said on a videoconference call, citing expected tenders from Petrobras for floating platforms to produce, store and offload oil, known as FPSOs.

Ocyan aims to build or operate vessels with capacity to process up to 150,000 barrels per day, bigger than its current FPSOs, he said. The firm also plans to offer maintenance works for the units or operate vessels from other companies, which is the case of a competition by oil producer Enauta ENAT3.SA.

That new business for Ocyan, which now has five drilling ships and two FPSOs, would consolidate a comeback for the firm, known as Odebrecht Oil & Gas until 2018.

The company was temporarily blacklisted by Petrobras after the corruption scandal revealed by Operation Car Wash, which began in 2014 to jail scores of politicians and business leaders, including top executives at controller company Odebrecht SA.

Brazil went years without new contracts to build platforms as Car Wash forced Petrobras to downsize and stop working with the country's biggest engineering groups. While producers are cutting or delaying investment, offshore activity in Brazil was steadier than the rest of the world, Bischoff said.

In 2019, Ocyan won its first drillship contract with Petrobras after restrictions were lifted. Last week, Petrobras executives said the resumption of platform construction in Brazil would be a decision left for companies which win contracts. The producer declined to comment.

"We could participate in more than one competition at a time," said Bischoff.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle Editing by Brad Haynes, Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio)

((Sabrina.Valle@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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