Seadrill Management S PTE Ltd awarded 4-years drilling contract for the Bacalhau field in Brazil

The West Saturn drill ship. (Photo: Seadrill)

(PRESS RELEASE) STAVANGER, Norway, 28-Apr-2021 — /EuropaWire/ — Equinor ASA (FRA: DNQA), an energy company that develops oil, gas, wind and solar energy active in more than 30 countries, has announced that Equinor Brasil Energia Ltda has, on behalf of its partners in the Bacalhau project, awarded Seadrill Management S PTE Ltd a contract for drilling on the field contingent to final investment decision.

The duration of the contract is four years, with planned start-up in the first quarter of 2022. The objective is to drill six wells leading up to production start in 2024. The contract also includes four options of one year each. The overall contract value includes mobilisation, upgrades and integrated services.

The total contract value of USD 380 million is contingent on a final investment decision for Bacalhau made by the partnership.

Bacalhau is a project in the Brazilian pre-salt area, located in the Santos basin. The field was discovered in 2012 and purchased from Petrobras in 2016. It consists of two licences, BM-S-8 and Norte de Carcará.

“In this contract we have secured a fixed rate for the initial firm period, which includes a performance element that enables the supplier to increase its profit by completing safe and efficient operations. We have also agreed on general terms for options, and we believe this contract gives the Bacalhau project good incentives for a long drilling campaign,” says Mette Halvorsen Ottøy, chief procurement officer.

Mette Halvorsen Ottøy, chief procurement officer, and Erik G. Kirkemo, senior vice president for Drilling and Well.

The Bacalhau field has a water depth of about 2,000 metres and is Equinor’s deepest high-pressure field.

“Under this contract, we have a high-spec drill ship, equipped with features such as a double derrick and automated drilling control and we look forward to continuing this collaboration with Seadrill in Brazil, where we are familiar with the drill ship from previous operations,” says Erik G. Kirkemo, senior vice president for Drilling and Well.

“Going forward, we expect that the drill ship will be operated in accordance with our best practice, and that this will yield safety results and efficiency that match our high ambitions,” says Kirkemo.

West Saturn is a seventh-generation drill ship, adapted for water depths up to 3,600 metres.

The partners in Bacalhau: Equinor (40 per cent, operator), ExxonMobil (40 per cent), Petrogal Brasil (20 per cent) and Pré-sal Petróleo SA (PPSA, regulatory agency, not an investor).


  • Discovery was made by Petrobras in 2012
  • Equinor operator since 2016
  • Bacalhau will be the first greenfield development in the pre-salt by an international operator
  • Located at a distance of 185 km from the coast of the municipality of Ilhabela/SP, in the state of São Paulo, in water depths of 2,050 meters
  • Phase 1 development capacity of 220,000 bbls/d
  • First oil production is planned in 2024

Media contact:

Bård Glad Pedersen
Vice President, Media Relations
Corporate affairs
+47 91801791



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