Floating production growth raises optimism and concerns

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The floating production market is burgeoning once again, with the number of FPSO contracts expected this year set to exceed 2018, and then continue an upward growth trajectory through 2020. This influx of work for the FPSO contractors and related services sector is encouraging for the industry. But it raises concerns about a depleted sector’s ability to secure the necessary financing for the major projects; to rebuild the workforce to handle the inbound orders; and to mitigate the potential for delays and cost-overruns. Fortunately, lessons from the downturn have led to many improvements in project design and development, as well as with contracting arrangements between operators and contractors. One of the many beneficiaries is Guyana’s first offshore oilfield development, Liza.

The Liza Phase 1 deepwater development in the Stabroek block is on track to start production by early next year. Plans for full field development call for at least five FPSOs. Jeremy Beckman, Offshore Editor-Europe, says this development could have a transformational impact on Guyana’s economy, as well as serve as a benchmark for the industry, due the cooperation between the operator and its partners and the principal contractors. Most of the same players are involved in the Liza Phase 2 development, and the technical and organizational solutions could be adapted for subsequent phases. Jeremy’s full story begins on page 29.

Elsewhere, the FPSO-based Mero phase development offshore Brazil is employing some unique technologies, including a standardization program for the Phase 2 FPSO. The project consortium completed an extended well test on the field with FPSO Pioneiro de Libra in October 2018. The FPSO was equipped for gas reinjection to control flaring and carbon dioxide emissions, while maximizing reservoir productivity. The consortium suggests that the gas reinjection was one of five new technologies deployed for the test program.

Jessica Stump, Offshore Assistant Editor, details the full field development and project timeline, beginning on page 37.

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