Topsides 2017 to feature new track on FPSOs

The seventh annual Topsides, Platforms & Hulls Conference & Exhibition is the offshore industry’s only event dedicated to the topsides, platforms, and hulls for both deep and shallow water.

Offshore staff

NEW ORLEANS– The seventh annual Topsides, Platforms & Hulls Conference & Exhibition is the offshore industry’s only event dedicated to the topsides, platforms, and hulls for both deep and shallow water. The theme of this year’s event is “Where it All Comes Together.”

The 2017 event, presented byOffshore, takes place Feb. 21-23, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. More than 50 exhibiting companies are expected to showcase the latest cost-effective solutions while answering questions about the industry’s challenges and trends.

This year, the Advisory Board has put together a program containing more than 25 presentations in parallel tracks - one focusing on topsides, platforms, and hulls; and the other on FPSO solutions.

The topsides, platforms, and hulls track will feature a range of unique discussions focusing on new technology, life extension, innovative development solutions, and project updates. The FPSO track will cover the history of FPSOs in the Gulf of Mexico, pioneering projects worldwide as well as operations aspects, business factors, and an update on the status of this part of the industry.

This new setup will allow delegates to take in topics that best suit their needs and interests.

The conference will open with the plenary session on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 8:00-9:00 a.m. The 2017 Advisory Board Chairman Nathan Davidson, Business Development, Williams will deliver opening remarks. The keynote address will be delivered by Ian Silk, Vice-President Projects Deep Water; Shell. With three decades of experience at Shell, he is responsible for deepwater project delivery. His global leadership in deepwater, a growth business for Shell, spans the US Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil, Malaysia, and Nigeria. An expert in project delivery – from front-end to handover and operations – he has a strong track record of successfully managing non-technical risk. His career has been divided between both offshore and onshore oil and gas developments.

Following the keynote address, the morning continues with presentations regarding improving development efficiencies and pioneering FPSOs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell USA will highlight some techniques the operator, in collaboration with EPCI contractors, has used to achieve credible cost reductions. Shell will provide an overview of the Offshore Systems Lifecycle Management it is developing for managing the entire lifecycle of offshore structures efficiently and cost-effectively. Doris Inc. will cover the areas in the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase that should be focused on to obtain better capital cost estimates in brownfield projects, especially subsea tiebacks.

Peter Lovie will discuss the 21-year saga of bringing FPSOs to the US Gulf of Mexico. The afternoon sessions kick off with presentations on new technology development and pioneering FPSO projects worldwide.

Chevron will discuss the qualification roadmap of the long stroke tensioner system for dry-tree semisubmersibles. Model scale versus full scale qualification benefits will be presented as well as critical design parameters to be considered during the qualification, i.e. tensioner stiffness, polytropic coefficient, flag pole effect, frictional effects, and bottom out during extreme events.

Sulzer will provide an overview of the development activities and achievements that have enabled high-pressure water injection pump design and operation topsides.

Chevron will discuss the Wilcox development and how maximum allowable surface pressures greater than 15,000 psi will require a step out from current riser and topsides conditions and demand technical qualification work on subsea and topsides equipment.

Premier Oil will highlight the Sea Lion development offshore the Falkland Islands. Sea Lion is a 520-MMbbl staged development with Phase 1 involving an 85,000-b/d, turret-moored FPSO connected to subsea wells. FEED is ongoing with the four major facilities contractors working collaboratively to deliver cost-effective solutions.

Eni Norge will provide an overview of Goliat, the first oil field onstream in the Barents Sea. The development includes innovative technologies and world records as use of geostationary FPSO and power from shore.

Tullow Oil has been invited to discuss the TEN project offshore Ghana.

The final sessions on Wednesday will cover facility integrity and life extension and design aspects of FPSOs.

Chevron will discuss the API Subcommittee 2 task groups’ progress in developing a new series of standards and remaining challenges for integrity management of floating systems. ABS Group will clarify the regulatory requirements for management of change, identify common barriers to effective implementation, and provide guidance for addressing the common challenges that operators face with it. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement will offer the regulatory perspective of the planning and procedures for life extension and continuation of service. It will include an update on what the regulator will need to assure life beyond the original design life, and guidance on what the industry can do to help in the decision making process.

ABS will discuss the regulatory framework and the regulatory compliance models for floating production units available in the US, as well as the synergies between classification and regulatory compliance and the ways to streamline regulatory activities. SOFEC Inc. will focus on the application of disconnectable turret technology for FPSO-type systems worldwide. Statoil will discuss developments in shuttle tankers and examples of how they enable offshore developments around the world.

Thursday morning will cover development solutions and the second FPSO in the Gulf of Mexico. McDermott will describe the transport and installation (floatover) of the PB-Litoral platform in the Mexican sector of the Gulf of Mexico. Jacobs Engineering will discuss how the Perdido waterflood system capacity increased from 80,000 b/d of water to 120,000 b/d with a minimal increase in equipment footprint. SBM Offshore will cover the opportunities and constraints of turning floating production units (semi, TLP, spar) into hubs where various field owner/operators share production through the same FPU.

Shell will offer a comprehensive review of the Stones project and its FPSOTurritella. It will include some of the unique aspects and design requirements for the FPSO including the large disconnectable turret and unique design of the buoy. Shell P&T will describe the working conditions and challenges of installing the Stones buoyant turret mooring during the height of the Eddy Olympus event. SBM Offshore will address challenging FPSO scenarios with the ongoing improvements of the process. It will also address and revisit the process itself, and how it impacts the results with a reversed engineering approach for an effective solution.

Thursday morning continues with a sessions on topsides engineering and construction and FPSO business factors. Audubon Companies will cover various methods to reduce topsides costs on floating production systems.

Versabar Inc. will discuss the lessons learned from the topsides preparation and single piece removal of Red Hawk, the first spar decommissioned in the Gulf of Mexico. Teekay Offshore Production will describe key drivers that are pushing oil companies to consider lower field development cost opportunities in today’s “Lower for Longer” market backdrop.

Thursday morning concludes with a panel: Where Now for the FPSO Business? Panelists include: Curtis Lohr, Stones project director, Shell International E&P; Dave Hartell, senior development manager, Premier Oil; Terry Hughes, project director, Tullow Oil; Thomas Kolanski, vice president business development, BW Offshore; Boyd Howell, general manager, sales and marketing, MODEC; Carlos Mastrangelo, FPSO account director, SBM Offshore; and Alec Johnson, senior mechanical engineer, Petrobras (invited).

Shell International E&P will kick off the final session with an overview of the Stones project. It will include the construction work in Singapore while telling the story on how it was able to achieve world class safety performance by working together with the key contractors. It also will provide an overview of the offshore installation and the start of operations at Stones, which includes the world’s deepest floating production system. Garza Tello & Asociados S.C will close the session with the changes that the Mexican oil and gas market has undergone and the opportunities that it will create.

Throughout the event, attendees will have the opportunity to meet and greet colleagues on theexhibition floor and to learn about new products and services. The event will conclude with an awards ceremony, chairman’s closing remarks, and an American Express gift card drawing.

For more information or to register, please visit

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