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15.02.2011

Petrobras Announces Drilling Rig Contracting Deal With EAS and Sete Brasil S.A.

Petrobras informs that it has approved the construction and chartering of the first package of seven drilling rigs to be built in Brazil, in line with the international market cost.

The winner was Estaleiro Atlântico Sul (EAS), located in Pernambuco State.  The total amount was US$ 4,637,000,130.00, which corresponds to a reduction of $ 13,000,000.00 with respect to its original offer, and a unit price of US$ 662,428,590.00. The first drilling rig is expected to come into operation in 2015.

This package is part of the bidding process which aims to contract up to 28 (twenty-eight) drilling rigs, to be used mainly in the pre-salt area and to meet Petrobras´ demand for its long-term drilling program.

Petrobras will assign the construction contract with EAS to Sete Brasil S.A (Sete BR) with which company it will execute the charter agreements of the rigs. Sete Brasil S.A. is a Brazilian company with 90% participation of a Equity Fund (FIP Sondas), managed by Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF) and which will have pension funds and Brazilian investment banks as investors. Petrobras will own 10% of participation in Sete BR.

Sete BR will have some companies with expertise to operate the rigs and provide the services to be hired by Petrobras as partner and co-owners of the rigs.  The daily rates, including the service fees, are estimated to be between US$ 430 thousand and US$ 475 thousand a day.

The financial funds required by Sete BR will come from equity sources and long-term financing provided by the BNDES (Brazilian Development Bank), which will finance up to 100% of the Brazilian content of goods and services in the construction of each drilling rig.  The additional funds will be provided by the international export credit agencies and commercial banks. A performance guarantee to be hired by EAS and a credit guarantee to be hired by Sete BR with the Brazilian Fund for Vessels Constructions - FGCN (Fundo Garantidor de Construção Naval) will give support to the contracts.

Furthermore, the bidding for contracting up to two drilling rigs was cancelled, given that the offers presented was not considered competitive by the Company.

The third bidding process, intended for contracting the chartering of packages up to 4 (four) drilling rigs, is still under analysis and should be completed in no more than 30 (thirty) days.

Copyright 2010, Petrobras. All rights reserved.

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