Equinor has awarded long-term charter contracts to Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers (KNOT) for two newbuilt shuttle tankers to lift and transport crude oil produced from the Roncador oil field in Brazil.
The Norwegian oil and gas had recently acquired a stake of 25% in the Roncador oil field in the Campos Basin from Petrobras for $2bn along with additional contingent payments of up to $550m pertaining to investments in projects to boost the recovery from the field.
The new two 153,000 DWT DP2 shuttle tankers to be deployed at the Brazilian oil field will be constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and will be delivered to KNOT in 2020.
KNOT president and CEO Trygve Seglem said: “We are pleased to announce these new shuttle tanker contracts with Equinor, which further builds on KNOT’s market leading position in the Brazil and continues our long relationship with Equinor, which was established in 1984 when we ordered our first shuttle tanker.”
According to Equinor, the shuttle tankers meet all requirements for offshore loading in Brazil. The company said that apart from the new shipping capacity for the production from the Roncador oil field, it has seven conventional tankers on long-term contracts that are operating in the Peregrino field.
Equinor believes that it has secured a reliable and robust solution for the evacuation of the equity oil production from the Roncador oil field with the newbuilt shuttle tankers. The crude oil from the field will be transferred to conventional tankers and distributed to customers across the world.
Equinor shipping head Kjetil Johnsen said: “We have now secured the long-term solution for the lifting of the Roncador crude.
“With these modern and fuel-efficient vessels, we will evacuate the crude oil in a safe, sustainable and cost-efficient way. We are very pleased to enter into this contract with Knutsen with extensive experience from shuttle tanker operations in Brazil.”
Considered to be the third largest producing field in Brazil, the Roncador oil field is expected to boost the equity production of Equinor in the South American country by about 150% to nearly 100,000 boe per day from around 40,000 boe per day.
Petrobras is the other partner in the Roncador oil field with a stake of 75%.