Dutch floating platform leaser SBM Offshore NV will not participate in the upcoming Petrobras Tartaruga Verde and Libra tenders, the company announced 12 June, adding that the decision resulted from conversations held between the two giants on 28 May.
SBM is the subject of an investigation alleging that it dealt out more than US$130 million to Brazilian government officials in exchange for FPSO contracts. SBM released findings in April from an internal investigation that originated 1Q 2012 announcing that, while there was evidence that payments had been made to government officials in Angola and Equatorial Guinea, the investigation did not unearth “credible evidence” of improper payments in Brazil.
Petrobras announced in March that its Internal Commission of Inquiry “found no facts or documents evidencing payment of bribes to Petrobras employees.
SBM’s decision not to participate was not entirely unexpected. Reuters reported on 28 May that Maria das Graças Foster, chief executive officer of Petrobras, declared that the Brazilian national would not accept tenders from SBM Offshore until the investigation. On the same day, SBM announced that it was “seeking clarification, legal and otherwise, for the potential exclusion from both tenders,” as it had already “deployed significant resources” in bidding activities for the Tartaruga Verde and Libra tenders.
Petrobras announced in January that drilling on the Libra field, located 23km off the state of Rio de Janeiro in the Santos basin pre-salt region, is to begin 2H 2014. Libra spans 1,547.67sq km, and is estimated by the Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency to have 8 -12 billion bo recoverable. Tartaruga Verde, is located 127km off Rio de Janeiro state, and is estimated to hold 230MMboe.