Four offshore service contractors are in a close fight to split lucrative deals potentially worth about $1.5 billion combined to supply Brazilian oil giant Petrobras with a plethora of flexible pipelaying support vessels to carry out operations in the Campos and Santos basins.

Petrobras currently has a fleet of a dozen PLSVs on hire, but some of them are approaching the end of their long-term charters and the state-controlled company has indicated the tender, for which proposals were submitted on 12 April, aims to replace some vessels while also adding new capacity to its massive subsea operations.