6 key FPSO projects driving activity in Asia

Oil and Gas Asia Pacific Talent Acquisition Energy

By Richard Halewood
June 29, 2023

July 5, 2023

0 min read

FPSOs in development

Floating production storage and offloading vessels are a crucial element of modern offshore oil and gas projects. The first oil FPSO was utilised on the Shell Castellon field in the Spanish Mediterranean in 1977 AND There are now almost 300 FPSOs operating worldwide.

Due to their flexibility, an FPSO provides several advantages over fixed platforms. They can more easily be mobilised to other remote or deep-water locations. This creates time and cost savings while increasing safety levels and accessibility to commercially viable fields.

This blog is part one of a two-part blog series looking at developments currently in the fabrication stage on Asian shipyards. As offshore discoveries and consumer energy demand increase over the next few decades, so will the number of FPSO and fabrication projects.

Click here to read part two on FLNG, FPU and facility construction projects

  1. Sangomar
  2. Dorado
  3. Cambo Project
  4. Payara
  5. Mero 3 and 4
  6. Barossa
  7. Airswift is a leading provider to fabrication projects

1. Sangomar

The Sangomar Field Development marks the start of Senegal’s venture into offshore oil development. Moored in water depth of approximately 800 meters, the FPSO will be capable of producing up to 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day, 130 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and 145 barrels of water injection per day. It will also have minimum storage capacity of 1,300,000 barrels of crude oil.

Scheduled for delivery in 2023, Phase 1 of its development targeted roughly 231 MMbbl in the S500 reservoirs across 25 planned wells. Following that Phase 2 will take in an additional 130 MMboe from the south of the SNE field and will include another eight producers, eight water injectors and two gas injectors with extra gas handling facilities needed on the FPSO.

The Australian company Woodside, the operator of Sangomar, reported that the project's development is currently 82% complete and on track to produce its first oil later this year of 2023.

2. Dorado

Santos and its partner Carnarvon Energy have received regulatory approval for the Dorado offshore project in Western Australia. The Offshore Project Proposal (OPP) covers the first phase of liquids development, with gas re-injection and the potential for a second phase of gas development.

The project is estimated to contain gross 2C resources of 189 million barrels of liquids and 401 petajoules of gas. The approval allows for tie-backs of future resources, including recent discovery Pavo, to augment Dorado production.

The concept for an integrated liquids and gas development is being finalized, with the aim of obtaining remaining approvals to make a final investment decision.

3. Cambo Project

The Cambo field is a large structure with sedimentary sequences located west of the Shetland Islands. It is located 125km northwest of the islands with water depth of 1,100m. The project is divided into two phases aka Cambo North (Phase 1) and Cambo South (Phase 2).

Phase 1 aims to target roughly 150 MMboe of reserves. Some of the features of this FPSO include a production capacity of 60,000 b/d and a storage capacity of 650,000 barrels. Gas compression capacity for both gas lift and export will be 650 MMcf/d.

Ithaca Energy holds a 70% interest, while Shell holds a 30% interest. A Sevan FPSO will be used for development, with modern equipment to reduce emissions. The field is expected to produce less CO2 than the average UK field and will be built electrification-ready.

Shell has signed an agreement with Ithaca Energy to sell its stake in the Cambo offshore oil development. The sale process will enable Shell to sell either a portion or the entire 30% working interest in the Cambo field.

Ithaca Energy sees the Cambo project as a key asset to maintaining the UK's future energy security.

4. Payara

Also known as the Payara-Pacora Project, this marks the third and latest offshore development in Guyana by ExxonMobil. The Payara project will be developed with the Prosperity FPSO whose hull was recently launched by China’s SWS Shipyard.

SBM Offshore has been contracted to install, lease, and operate the FPSO for two years after which its ownership and operation will be transferred over to Exxon. The build will feature oil producing capabilities of up to 220,000 barrels per-day and gas treatment capacities of 400 MMcf per-day. As estimate of 41 production and injection wells will be connected to the FPSO. The first oil is expected in 2024.

The FPSO will be moored in a water depth of roughly 1,900 m and is destined to store up to 2 million barrels of crude oil.

5. Mero 3 and 4

Belonging to the Libra Block, the Mero offshore oil and gas field is located approximately 180 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in a water depth of 2100 m. Containing 3.3 barrels of recoverable oil reserves, Petrobras declared Mero’s commercial viability in 2017 and the field sits in the pre-salt area of the Santos Basin.

Phase 3 of the project will deploy as FPSO by the name of Marechal Duque de Caxias. In August 2020, Petrobras signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Malaysia’s MISC Berhad for the chartering and provision of the FPSO.

The Mero 3 FPSO will process 180,000 barrels of oil and 12 million cubic metres of natural gas daily for a 22.5-year period under Petrobras. Partners Shell, TotalEnergies, China National Petroleum Corporation, and CNOOC Ltd. each have a stake in the project, which includes drilling 15 wells linked to the FPSO through a subsea structure. Operations are expected to begin in 2024. The Mero 4 launch is set for 2025.

6. Barossa

The Barossa field is located offshore north Australia, approximately 300km north-north-west of Darwin in the Bonaparte Basin in 220m to 310m water depth.

The Barossa field is comprised of a single sub-surface structure which spans an area over 15km from north to south and 30km from east to west and includes 9 development wells

Barossa will utilise a 330m by 60m FPSO. This vessel will separate and transport gas and condensate for liquification at the Darwin LNG facility. Transportation will take place via a new 260km subsea pipeline connected to the existing Bayu-Darwin pipeline.

First gas production from Barossa is targeted for the first half of 2025.

Airswift is a leading provider to fabrication projects

Airswift is the leading workforce solutions provider for onshore and offshore fabrication yard and FPSO projects. We have managed over 50 Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) and major fabrication yard developments. Some of the roles that these projects are currently hiring for include:

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Instrument and Controls engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • HSE Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Marine Engineer
  • Naval Architect
  • Process Engineer
  • Process Safety Engineer
  • Contracts engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Commissioning Lead
  • Project Services Lead

Visit our fabrication jobs page  to learn more about the opportunities. 

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