Who are the major financiers of Brazilian FPSOs?

(BN Americas, Santiago, 7 July 2023) Although the energy transition and ESG issues are gaining traction, many banks and credit export entities keep financing oil and gas undertakings, such as floating production storage and offloading units (FPSOs) ordered by Brazil’s federal oil firm Petrobras. FPSOs are used for the production and processing of hydrocarbons, and for the storage of oil. This situation will not change much as demand for hydrocarbons will remain and a significant portion of oil companies’ decarbonization capital expenses comes from oil and gas revenues. Furthermore, the geopolitical context, with the war in Ukraine and gas supply in Europe, has reignited energy security concerns. Meanwhile, financial products like green and sustainability linked bonds, developed to support companies that do not operate in totally green areas, do not yield higher returns. According to Daniela Davila, a partner at Vieira Rezende law firm, new FPSOs are mainly financed by Asian financial institutions (banks and leasing houses) and export credit agencies from countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, where shipyards that build the hulls/modules of the units are located. Some banks, such as BNP Paribas and HSBC, have announced their exit from this industry, while New York-based Nordea has shown less appetite for oil and gas. On the other hand, traditional offshore players like Norway’s DNB or Germany’s Deutsche Bank continue to support the sector. CNOOC and CNODC are also Petrobras’ partners in the Mero field, which will receive the Sepetiba unit this year and Alexandre de Gusmão in 2025. Banks from Japan, like Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Japan Bank for International Corporation, often work with Japan's Modec, which signed several charter contracts of FPSOs under construction with Petrobras and one for Equinor’s Bacalhau field. Among other financial institutions with tradition in FPSO financing are the UK’s Standard Chartered Bank; DBS Bank, United Overseas Bank, Clifford Capital and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation from Singapore; China Investment Corporation; Korea Development Bank (South Korea); Maybank and CIMB (Malaysia); Société Générale and Natixis (France); and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (Japan). Export credit agencies in the sector include China’s Sinosure, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (Japan) and Sace (Italy).