After soliciting competitive bids, Brazilian-based oil and gas technology firm Petrobras has awarded a $2.7 billion contract for three flexible deep-water pipe laying support vessels (PLSVs) to Sapura Nevegacao Maritima, a joint venture between Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) and Malaysian-based SapuraKencana, it was announced today.

The terms of the deal require Sapura Nevegacao Maritima to build the PLSVs, as well as charter and operate them for eight years. The contract includes an option to extend the original eight years by an additional eight, according to the announcement.

SapuraKencana CEO Shahril Shamsuddin said the three new PLSVs "would be equipped to lay flexible pipelines in up to 3000 metres water depth." The vessels will be constructed outside Brazil, and the expected "operational" delivery date is Q2 of 2016.

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