Petrobras Cancels Vantage Drillship Contract Citing Breaches

Titanium Explorer. Photo: Vantage Drilling
Titanium Explorer. Photo: Vantage Drilling

 

Houston-based Vantage Drilling says it has been notified by Petrobras terminating it’s contract for the Titanium Explorer drillship.

The 8-year contract for the drillship has been in place since February 2009 between Petrobras America, Inc. (PAI) and Petrobras Venezuela Investments & Services B.V. (PVIS) and Vantage Deepwater Drilling Company, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Vantage Drilling.

The notice alleges that Vantage has breached its obligations under the drilling contract, but failed to provide any explanation as to the facts and conduct that constitute a breach, Vantage Drilling said in a press release.

“Vantage strongly disagrees with the allegations of contractual breaches made by PAI and PVIS in the Notice,” Vantage said. “Vantage has filed for arbitration to challenge the assertions made in the Notice and to assert that the Notice is a wrongful attempt to terminate the Drilling Contract. Vantage believes that it is in compliance with all of its obligations under the Drilling Contract.”

In early August, Brazilian prosecutors brought formal charges against a former Petrobras executive and five others saying they illegally favored Vantage Drilling in awarding the Titanium Explorer contract. It is unclear if Wednesday contract termination is related.

Vantage Drilling is an offshore drilling contractor with an owned fleet of three ultra-deepwater drillships, the Platinum Explorer, the Titanium Explorer and the Tungsten Explorer, and four Baker Marine Pacific Class 375 ultra-premium jackup drilling rigs.