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7 FPSO projects to watch in 2020



The market for floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels has exploded over the last few years, as the Oil & Gas industry has grown more dependent on ultra-deepwater offshore activity.

As Wood Group explained in a sector-wide report:

“Increased oil prices, new design concepts, fabrication and integration innovations at global shipyards, creative financing options, and industry partnerships are all factors that are contributing to this projected upswing in activity. The momentum has already begun, with newly sanctioned projects on the rise. Cyclical and structural market changes are finally coming together to move major projects forward.”

The Liza Destiny will be used for Oil & Gas projects offshore Guyana
(Image via SBM Offshore)

In August last year, energy consultancy firm Rystad Energy predicted that up to 24 FPSO awards were expected in 2020, led primarily by the South American market where 12 projects were expected to be sanctioned by the end of the year.

With the industry growing, more opportunities for technical and engineering professionals with FPSO experience are set to rise throughout the year. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted seven of the biggest FPSO projects that engineering professionals should be watching in 2020.

The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim field is a major project centred around the use of a mid-water FPSO vessel
(Image via BP)

1. Greater Tortue-Ahmeyim Phase 1
Location: Mauritania/Senegal

Part of the Tortue region off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal, the Greater Tortue-Ahmeyim Phase 1 project will use an ultra-deepwater subsea system to produce gas and process it on a mid-water FPSO vessel, from which it will be transferred to a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility located at a newly built nearshore hub on the Mauritania and Senegal maritime border. 

It’s thought that the project could tap into total gas resources of around 15 trillion cubic feet, with an FLNG thought to be capable of producing 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per year for both global export and domestic use in Mauritania and Senegal.

In March 2019 BP awarded the contract for engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) of the FPSO unit to TechnipFMC. The company are developing a newbuild VLCC-sized FPSO at Keppel’s shipyard in Singapore, with a 13,000 tonne deck and a capacity of 500 MMcf/d of gas and 20,000 bbl/d of liquids. The FPSO will be spread moored in 100 to 200 metres of water and will connect to four wells through subsea infrastructure and production pipelines. 

The project is aimed for a 2022 startup.

4 FPSOs will be used in the Mero Oil & Gas field, starting with the Guanabara for the pilot project
(Image via SBM Offshore)

2. Guanabara FPSO
Mero Oil & Gas Field Pilot Project
Location: Brazil

The Mero Oil & Gas field is located on the Libra block, in the pre-salt area of the Santos basin, approximately 180km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Declared commercial in November 2017, it’s thought to contain 3.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves. Operated by Petrobras, development of the field is expected to feature at least four FPSOs with processing capabilities of 180,000 b/d of oil and 424MMcf/d of gas.

The initial pilot project is planned for startup in 2021 using the Guanabara FPSO - a vessel newly converted from the Luxe very large crude carrier (VLCC). Japanese company MODEC are responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, mobilisation, installation and operation of the FPSO, having been awarded a 22 year charter contract. Conversion work is being undertaken by the Chinese company Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company, and was started in January last year.

The Guanabara FPSO will be deployed in a water depth of 2,100 metres on the Mero Field, where it will process up to 180,000 b/d of crude oil and 424 MMscf/d of gas, and store up to 1.4 MMbbls of oil. The vessel itself will have a total weight of approximately 33,000 tonnes, with 31 topside modules.

Hull designs for SBM Offshore's Fast4Ward program
(Image via SBM Offshore)

3. Sepetiba FPSO
Mero Oil & Gas Field Phase 2
Location: Brazil

Following the pilot program of Brazil’s Mero field, phase 2 is set to begin production in Q1 of 2023, where six production wells and six water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection wells will be connected to another FPSO - the Sepetiba FPSO.

It was reported in December 2019 that SBM Offshore signed a contract with Petrobras for the 22.5 year lease and operation of an FPSO unit for Phase 2 of the project, where they confirmed that the Sepetiba would be the vessel used. The company confirmed that they would be using the Fast4Ward program to design and construct the vessel, with delivery expected in 2022.

The Fast4Ward program has been launched by SBM Offshore as a standardised multi-purpose hull and topsides design that they claim can improve construction efficiency to accelerate delivery of a newbuild vessel by up to one year and cut typical production costs by over $500 million.

Like the Guanabara, the Sepetiba will have a capacity of 180,000 barrels of oil per day, with water injection capacity of 250,000 barrels per day, associated gas treatment capacity of 12 million standard cubic metres per day and a minimum storage capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude oil.

A MODEC designed FPSO, similar to the Carioca that will be deployed in the Sepia Oil Field
(Image via MODEC)

4. Carioca FPSO
Sepia Oil Field
Location: Brazil

South of the Mero field, in the pre-salt section of the Santos basin, approximately 255km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro is the Sépia Oil & Gas field, operated by Petrobras. Oil was first discovered in the field in March 2012, when a 290-metre column of 26-degree API oil was identified in carbonate reservoirs at a depth of 4,960 metres. It’s now thought that the Sépia field could hold up to 1.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Petrobras plan to commence production of the field using the Carioca FPSO, delivered by MODEC Offshore Production Systems (Singapore) - a division of MODEC Inc. MODEC commissioned Keppel FELS Brasil to undertake the topside module fabrication and integration of the FPSO at their shipyard in Angra dos Reis.

The FPSO will have the capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 212 million cubic metres of gas per day, with a storage capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude. It will employ a steel lazy wave riser (SLWR) setup, using both flexible and rigid risers. Startup of the project is due to commence towards the end of 2021.

Disaster struck during the build of the P-71 FPSO, but the operators are accelerating the process to have it ready in time for the Lula Oeste planned start up
(Image via Sinorigoffshore)

5. P-71 FPSO
Lula Oeste Field Development
Location: Brazil

A project beset with catastrophe, this is one to watch in 2020 as new awards are granted to accelerate the process in order to mitigate delays.

The Lula Oeste Field Development project is a sub-structure of the Lula Cernambi complex, located in the BM-S-11 block, 230km off the coast of Brazil, where it’s estimated that recoverable reserves of 8.3 billion barrels of 28.5-degree API oil can be found.

Petrobras operate the field with plans to use the p-71 FPSO to produce 150,000 barrels per day of oil and 6 million cubic metres per day of natural gas. The company contracted with Chinese shipyard CIMC Raffles in early 2018 for the FPSO’s hull - purchasing one that had already been converted the previous year with the intention of deploying it in the Sururu field in the Santos Basin. The hull was shipped to Brazil to be built along with seven other FPSOs by Ecovix.

In May 2019 the Locar V towship was shipwrecked off the Brazillian coast while transporting the P-71’s power generation modules to the Jurong Aracruz shipyard. The modules had been built by Consórcio MGT and featured 25MW Siemens turbines.

Petrobras secured an order for replacement gas turbines with Siemens in October, and awarded a contract to CIMC Raffles for the construction of two power generation modules, with delivery due in late 2020. Further FPSO works are now expected on a much shorter schedule for Petrobras to meet their planned startup date of 2022 for the project.

Longstanding plans to develop the Kudu Gas Field may finally come to fruition in 2020 thanks to the implementation of new technologies including FPSOs
(Image via Namcor)

6. Kudu Gas Field
Location: Namibia

The Kudu Gas Field has long had a high potential for an operator able to develop it. But since its discovery in 1974 its licence has been passed around supermajors including Shell, Chevron, Tullow Oil and Energy Africa. Located 170km off the southwest coast of Namibia, in 180 metres of water, the field is estimated to hold 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The original development solution was for a 170km subsea tie-back to an 800 megawatt power plant near Oranjemund - which would make it one of the world’s longest tie-backs. However technological developments in recent years have provided a more effective answer, and current operators BW Offshore now plan to tie four subsea wells back to an FPSO with the capacity to process and compress 64 MMcf/d of gas.

A 170km pipeline will then export the gas from the FPSO to shore, where it will be sent to a 440MW power plant at Uubvlei. In January 2020 BW Energy announced a timeline for the field, targeting first gas in July 2024. To achieve this they plan to reuse one of their own FPSO vessels and have commissioned national utility NamPower to develop the onshore power generation plant. A proposed 25 year supply deal is currently under discussion between BW Energy and power plant development consortium KuduPower, operated by the national utility.

46 years after the discovery of the field, could 2020 be the year where a viable plan for production of the Kudu Gas Field is finally approved.

SBM Offshore will complete the Liza Prosperity FPSO for ExxonMobil's Payara Oil Field project
(Image via SBM Offshore

7. Liza Prosperity FPSO
Payara Oil Field
Location: Guyana

Located in the Stabroek block, off the coast of Guyana, the Payara field is estimated to hold 500 million barrels of recoverable reserves at a water depth of 2,030 metres.

ExxonMobil are operating the field and in November last year announced that they had awarded the contracts to perform front end engineering and design (FEED) for the Liza Prosperity FPSO - a vessel that will follow the design of the Liza Unity and Liza Destiny ships, which will also be operating offshore Guyana.

ExxonMobil have contracted SBM Offshore to construct the vessel, as part of their Fast4Ward program. The Prosperity FPSO will have a capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day with associated gas treatment capacity of 400 million cubic feet per day and water injection capacity of 250,000 barrels per day. SBM Offshore will construct, install and then lease and operate the FPSO for up to two years, after which ownership and operation will transfer to ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd (EEPGL).

Approximately 35-45 production and injection wells will be connected to the Liza Prosperity, with startup planned for Q1 2023.

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Recent Comments
Impressive... really expected to be happened and mine as the co-partner or a little man for one of the project.
Baha - Baharudin Hatim, 22 January 2020
Interesting to know there are still greater and challenging opportunities in this industry. I would be glad to work into one of these FPSO's from construction phase to commissioning and start up phase.
SHAIK, 23 January 2020
Hi, I'm interested in Lifting Engineer/Superintendent role. Regards, +7701 059 61 33 - Kazakhstan number +99455 667 15 42 - WhatsApp
Ilgar Hasanov, 24 January 2020
Who is thier manning here in the phil.? When are them going to hire personnel?
Ireneo s Mendiola, 24 January 2020
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Eslam ayman, 24 January 2020
Interesting. Might have to see if my mates at Technip or Modec can get me a job soon. I'm a production service tech on the FPSO Northern Endeavour and looks like it might be heading towards decommissioning. Would be great to get on one of these gigs.
Russ Willans , 24 January 2020
Previous Woodgroup, BP, KcaD, Weatherford. Project experience logistic support first language English. System and Procurement. Valve and pipe schedule p&id support.
MR ADAM MCNEILL, 24 January 2020
2020 is a year to explore a new horizon in the Oil & Gas industry. I will be glad to meet with anyone aspiring to be at the top as i aspire to work on any of these roles. Quantity Surveyor, Civil Surveyor, Cost Estimator, Contracts Manager, Project Controls Manager, Construction Manager, Project Manager.
CHIMEZE MMOM, 27 January 2020
Hi Im interested on piping QAQC inapector jobs and mechnical and NDT.
Maya Singapore , 28 January 2020
Very much interested for System Completion Engineer / Instrument Engineer / Inst Supervisor / Lead Instrument Technician for Pre-commissioning,Commissioning,Start-up and Maintenance of this FPSO projects. Contact : +919444103967 Email :
Krishna Kumar S, 28 January 2020
Great FPSO projects in Oil and Gas sector for year 2020. I interested to work in any of this project as a mechanical piping and fitting professional.
Olatunde Oke Motoro, 29 January 2020
I'm much interesting in process or facilities engineer position. Contact +84-903018962
QUANG VAN HO, 29 January 2020
Im interested in Electrical Commissioning Technician
Jaime Dulos, 30 January 2020
Previous nakilat keppel, Oman drydock, dubai drydock world, keppel shipyard. Project experience procurement andlogistic support first language English. System and Procurement. Steel and structural,Valve and pipe, fittings, electrical marine cables and equipments and supporting consumables. MR senthil kumar Ganesan 31st January 2020
Senthil kumar Ganesan , 31 January 2020
Previous nakilat keppel, Oman drydock, dubai drydock world, keppel shipyard. Project experience procurement andlogistic support first language English. System and Procurement. Steel and structural,Valve and pipe, fittings, electrical marine cables and equipments and supporting consumables. MR senthil kumar Ganesan 31st January 2020
Senthil kumar Ganesan , 31 January 2020
Very interesting FPSO Projects. I'm interested to join the FPSO Projects. I have working experience as AREA INSPECTION ENGINEER for Petroliam Nasional Berhad also known as PETRONAS is a MALAYSIAN oil and gas company
MOHD FAIZ BIN ABDUL HAJI, 01 February 2020
Its great to see such a positive projects in FPSOs ..
Kamalakannan, 04 February 2020
Loss Controller, interesting in Cargo Superintendent/Quantity Inspector position in any of those projects
Sergej Polukarov, 20 March 2020
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7 FPSO projects to watch in 2020 - Time to read 9 min
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