Brazil's hot offshore market is set to provide some succour for the beleaguered drilling contractor sector with a clutch of oil and gas heavyweights — including Total, Equinor and Shell — lining up rig charter deals to carry out work in key deep-water basins.

Two drilling contractors are neck-and-neck in a race to land a charter from Total for a rig to conduct a wildcatting programme in the ultra-deep waters of the Campos basin, as activity picks up in Brazil amid continued depressed dayrates.