Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has represented international lenders Mizuho Bank and Itaú BBA International in providing approximately $150 million in financing for the purchase of an innovative compact semi-submersible multi-service vessel destined for Brazil’s most productive offshore oil and gas location.
The support unit, named Olympia, represents a ground-breaking new vessel design, which suppliers believe will change the long term landscape of the offshore vessel market. It was developed to help increase production in Brazil’s Campos Basin, source of some 80% of the country’s substantial oil reserves. DP-3 rated, meaning it has redundant systems designed to hold it in place in virtually all weather and sea conditions, the 276ft (84.25m) craft was built in Fujian Province in southern China and holds up to 500 people.
Olympia is the first of a group of three sister vessels ordered by Rio-based oil and gas firm GranEnergia and will be leased to state-owned energy major Petrobras. Olympia is part of Petrobras’s $5.6 billion program to increase operating efficiency in the Campos Basin, a 44,000 square mile area off the coast north of Rio de Janeiro. The vessel, whose primary function is to act as a floating accommodation unit for rig personnel, will begin operating in the Campos Basin in the second quarter of 2014.
New York-based project finance partner Daniel Bartfeld led the Milbank deal team, which included London-based partner James Cameron, and associates Fernando Capellão, Russell King and Caroline Rasmussen. Milbank has previously advised on the financing of a new fleet of deepwater drillships produced in South Korea that are also on the frontlines of Brazil’s burgeoning offshore oil recovery sector.
“We’re delighted to participate in this important financing for a new generation of advanced support and maintenance vessels for the Campos Basin, site of significant ongoing investment by Petrobras,” said Mr Bartfeld. “The Olympia is one part of a larger effort to increase productivity and efficiency in this mature drilling area, which, despite challenging conditions, remains Brazil’s most productive offshore oil field.”