Petrobras lifts ban on SBM Offshore

Petrobras has formally invited the Brazilian subsidiary of Dutch firm SBM Offshore to join in the Libra and Sepia FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels) tenders, SBM announced on Monday.

Effectively that means the troubled state-run Brazilian giant has lifted a ban on the Dutch firm from bidding for oil and gas contracts offshore Brazil.

Although the bribes-for-contracts corruption scandal surrounding Petrobras has involved mostly Brazil-based engineering and construction firms, there have been overseas players caught in the web, too. And SBM were one of the first, paying a $240m fine to authorities in the Netherlands.

Now apparently their practices have been straightened out because in order to earn the invite to join this tender SBM had to be in compliance with Petrobras standards. It also needs approval from the partners in the Libra field.

The Libra prospect is a pre-salt layer field in the Santos Basin, about 230km offshore Rio de Janeiro. It is believed to potentially contain between 3.7 billion and 15 billion barrels. The Sepia field is also in the Santos Basin.

In its release SBM says it is in active dialogue with the relevant Brazilian authorities.

SBM Offshore is an Amsterdam-based firm that provides floating production solutions to the offshore energy industry. It is a market leader in leased floating production systems.

Shares in SBM Offshore reacted positively, jumping 15% in Amsterdam on the news.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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