Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., and Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (“J4”) announced today that J4 has agreed to participate in a project for an ultra-deepwater drillship to be chartered by Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (“Petrobras”) for pre-salt exploration. J4’s aggregate participation accounts for the majority share of the project company, Etesco Drilling Services, LLC. ("EDS") of the United States, which was established by Etesco Construções e Comércio Ltda. ("Etesco") of Brazil, and the capital contribution was completed on June 12th with another foreign company.
In August 2008, EDS concluded, with Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. of South Korea, a construction contract for one drillship. After its delivery, scheduled for the end of January in 2012, EDS will start to provide charter service to Petrobras for a maximum of 20 years.
Total investment in the project amounts to approximately US$820 million, and EDS concluded a loan agreement for US$650 million on June 12th. The drillship will be chartered by Petrobras for ultra-deepwater exploration in pre-salt fields with a water depth of up to 10,000 feet (approximately 3,000 meters).
J4 seeks to contribute to Petrobras by participating in this drillship charter project for exploration for pre-salt oil and gas in pre-salt fields in Brazil.