FPSO outlook is improving for 2010, SBM says

From one contractor’s perspective, the FPSO outlook is improving for 2010, Tony Mace, CEO of SBM Offshore said during the opening plenary at DOT in Monaco on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Offshore staff

MONTE CARLO -- From one contractor’s perspective, the FPSO outlook is improving for 2010, Tony Mace, CEO of SBM Offshore said during the opening plenary at DOT in Monaco on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Mace says there is potential for five total FPSO awards by the end of this year, which is up from zero during the previous year or so. About 78 FPSO projects are possible in the next 5-10 years, with 50% of them in Brazil, Nigeria, and Angola. One challenge in these countries is the requirement for increasing local content, Mace says. Petrobras in a recent tender is targeting 65% local content, he says. This is one factor driving up the price of projects, he says. Meanwhile, shipyard, supplier, and contractor pricing is coming down.

Another trend is increasing water depth per FPSO. This is expected to increase with the pre-salt discoveries. One technical challenge is the development of cost-effective risers for greater than 2,000 m (6,562 ft) water depth, Mace says. Another technical challenge is development of a swivel system to handle 800 bar for high temperature/high pressure fields. This is currently under development, he says.

Remote deepwater gas fields pose problems as well, Mace says. He points to FLNG as a technically viable solution. Development is under way on gas export via FLNG on the Tupi field offshore Brazil, for instance.

One more trend is to more leased FPSOs, Mace says. By 2010, he expects for the first time leased FPSOs will exceed the number of oil company owned vessels.

11/3/2009

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