Norwegian export credit agency (ECA) GIEK has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Petrobras worth a potential US$1bn.

The intention is to enter into an agreement whereby GIEK would issue guarantees for Petrobras’s purchase of Norwegian oil and gas equipment and products. It would replace an existing agreement, whereby GIEK covered purchases totalling US$1bn.

A spokesperson for GIEK tells GTR that no specific Norwegian exporters have been included in the contract, but that it “will be open to existing and new Norwegian exporters aiming for a contract with Petrobras”.

She adds: “A wide range of Norwegian exporters are doing business with Petrobras already. We expect the new agreement to provide a basis for continued contractual co-operation. An agreement like this also seems to make it easier for smaller exporting companies to enter into contracts with a much bigger company, like Petrobras. In the future we will not exclude setting up equivalent agreements with other attractive customers for Norwegian exporters.”

Asked why the Brazilian market is being targeted by Norwegian firms, the spokesperson continues: “The Norwegian oil and gas industry benefits from several decades of off-shore deep-water operations on the Norwegian continental shelf as well as from being participants in offshore operations worldwide.

“The knowledge, the speed and level of technological innovation, and the wide range of products and services developed, makes Norwegian companies attractive suppliers for such operations. Brazil is investing in its oil and gas industry, particularly in the ultra-deep water operations demand equipment and knowledge that Norwegian exporters possess. This makes the Brazilian oil and gas industry, with Petrobras at the forefront, an attractive area for Norwegian exporters.”