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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobas SA (PETR4.SA) has awarded a $2.7 billion offshore support vessel contract to Norway's Seadrill (SDRL.OL) and Malaysia's SapuraKencana SKPE.KL, the latter firm said on Thursday.
Their joint venture - Sapura Navegacao Maritima - won an 8-year deal to build, charter and operate three pipe-laying vessels, with delivery scheduled for the second quarter of 2016, the company said in a stock exchange filing.
Petrobras can extend the contract by further 8 years.
A decision to build the ships outside of Brazil comes as Petrobras seeks to cut costs by $15.4 billion over five years.
Previous efforts to build more of the hundreds of tankers, drilling platforms, production platforms and support vessels in Brazil to help develop giant new offshore reserves have driven up costs.
Higher costs have threatened the goals of a $237 billion five-year investment plan aimed at helping the company double output to about 5 million barrels a day of oil and natural gas by 2020.
Reporting by Siva Sithraputhran; Additional reporting by Balazs Koranyi in Oslo and Jeb Blount in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Jason Neely