6 key FPSO projects driving activity in Asia

November 8, 2020

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

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 will target 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.

Its third and final phase may require an additional 16 wells that will be divided equally between producers and water injectors to take in roughly 123 MMbbI of oil.


2. Dorado

Currently in its bidding stage, the Dorado oil field development located in the Bedout basin off Western Australia is estimated to contain P50 contingent resources of 171 MMbbl light oil, 16 MMbbl of condensate and 552 Bcf of gas across the Caley, Baxter, Milne and Crespin Members amongst others.

As of September 2020, Altera Infrastructure, BW Offshore and Modec have all submitted design proposals for the Dorado FPSO that is capable of delivering between 75,000 and 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

The FEED contract will be awarded to the worthy contender towards the tail-end of 2020.


3. Cambo Project

A partner project between Siccar Point Energy and Shell UK, the Cambo North and South Field Developments have been deferred to 2021 in light of the effects of Covid-19.

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

In August 2019, the FEED contract was awarded to Sembcorp Marine for the design of the newbuild Sevan SSP-type cylindrical FPSO. It will be connected to nine production wells (eight new wells and one converted appraisal well) and four water injection wells, two drill centres, and a 70 km, 20-inch gas export pipeline.

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.


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 unit features oil processing capacities of up to 180,000 barrels per-day and 424MMcf of gas treatment capacities per-day. A total of 15 wells will be interconnected to the FPSO, along with eight oil producers and seven water-alternating gas injectors. FEED work for Mero 3 is expected to be completed in 2022.

The fate of the tender for Mera 4 remains undetermined and Petrobras is expected to announce its decision come December 2020 once the company releases its business plan for 2021 – 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.

The ConocoPhillips Barossa Project was put on hold in April 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic. Operating company Santos is reportedly in the midst of reviving the construction for the FPSO and will reach a final investment decision by the end of 2020.


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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This post was written by: Richard Halewood, Client Solutions Manager – Asia Pacific