EMA: Busy times for FPSO contractors with new awards on the way

Energy Maritime Associates (EMA) completed an in-depth analysis of the floating production sector as published in its 4Q 2014 report for FPSOs, semis, TLPs, FLNGs, FSRUs, and FSOs.

Robin Dupre
Robin DupreRobin Dupre • Houston

Energy Maritime Associates (EMA) completed an in-depth analysis of the floating production sector as published in its 4Q 2014 report for FPSOs, semis, TLPs, FLNGs, FSRUs, and FSOs.

Sixteen production floaters and four FSOs have been ordered so far this year. They include eight converted FPSO units – four for Africa, two for Brazil and two for Southeast Asia, two newbuild FPSOs, four floating regas units, and two FLNG units. The pace of orders has recovered from last year and is slightly above the 16-year average. However, this is still 20% below the 2010-2012 average.

Two FPSOs that had been unemployed since 2009 have received new contracts this year. TheFront Puffin FPSO, which operated from 2007-2009 in Australia, will be upgraded to operate in Nigeria's Aje field. The Deep Producer 1 FPSO, built on speculation and left unfinished, will be completed for the Layang field in Malaysia. However, 16 FPSOs, five production semis, three FSOs, and two MOPUs remain without employment. Based on its analysis of previous redeployments, EMA expects more opportunities for recently demobilized units, such as the FPSOs Azurite, OSX-2, Rubicon Vantage, and Perintis. Units idle more than five years are less likely to find new employment.

The top five FPSO leasing companies are executing more than 80% (13 of 16) of the leased FPSO units on order. Bumi Armada and Modec are each executing four projects. SBM is executing three large FPSOs for Petrobras. BWO and Teekay each were awarded a new FPSO contract this year. Contractors are preparing for additional awards.

EMA's database lists 17 FPSO lease projects in the bidding or final design stage, most of which are expected to be awarded within the next 12-18 months. BWO is recruiting staff as it is "experiencing substantial growth due to a surge of FPSO projects and its growing in-house FPSO and FLNG technology developments." Bumi Armada, BWO, Teekay, and Yinson all own VLCC hulls for future conversion projects.

ABS awards approval in principle for first cylindrical FLNG production unit design

ABS has granted approval in principle (AIP) for the Sevan cylindrical floating LNG (FLNG) production unit concept for offshore production, storage, and transfer of LNG, LPG, and condensate.

The next-generation FLNG design concept is based on the proven circular and geostationary Sevan FPSO design, which is being used in the Norwegian and UK central North Sea and offshore Brazil. The full scope of design review for the FLNG concept includes an assessment of the feasibility of the structural strength of the equipped FLNG hull and process topsides structure as well as a global performance and safety analysis conducted in accordance with the ABS Rules and Guides for floating LNG units.

"By awarding Sevan AIP, we have acknowledged that the company's innovative approach to designing and constructing a first-of-its-kind FLNG production unit is based on sound engineering practices and ABS classification standards," said Tor-Ivar Guttulsrød, director of FLNG, Global Gas Solutions, at ABS. "ABS continues to support new FLNG concepts that, when fully developed and implemented, will strengthen the emerging FLNG market."

The Sevan FLNG production unit will have a proprietary cylindrical hull capable of operating in more than 3,000-m (10,000-ft) water depth and in harsh environments, such as extreme North Atlantic and cyclonic conditions. The unit design is based on environmental load calculations for a 100-year return storm in the Barents Sea.

Similar to the company's FPSOs, the FLNG unit's axio-symetric hull shape enables high capacity for LNG storage and deck loads and tolerance for weather spreading and eliminates the need to weathervane in rough seas. The unit can be designed to have gas processing and liquefaction up to 4 MTPA and store up to 240,000 cu m of LNG and 36,000 cu m of condensate.

According to Sevan, advantages of a cylindrical hull design include the elimination of the need for a turret and swivel and the favorable motions with very little roll and pitch, as well as reduction of typical wave induced fatigue loads and minimized hull deflection, which simplifies the topsides design.

"High availability, inherent safety, and simple operation should be the main criteria when selecting technology offshore," said Lars Ødeskaug, COO at Sevan Marine ASA. "Sevan's cylindrical FLNG solution meets these criteria at an attractive cost. We are proud to have been granted AIP for our unique design concept, which we believe will introduce a better option for producing, storing, and offloading LNG in challenging operating areas."

Zhejiang Shipbuilding completes the delivery of 12 ULSTEIN designed PSVs

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Zhejiang Shipbuilding deliversSea Swift. (Photo courtesy ULSTEIN)

Zhejiang Shipbuilding in Ningbo, China, has deliveredSea Swift, the final of 12 platform supply vessels of the large PX105 design to ship owner Deep Sea Supply Plc.

In addition to the basic design, ULSTEIN has delivered a comprehensive package of systems and equipment, as well as onsite support.

The Zhejiang yard, part of the Sinopacific Group, delivered all the vessels during 2013 and 2014. The 12 vessels are constructed for operations worldwide with several currently working in the North Sea.

The Deep Sea Supply vessels are 88.9 m (292 ft) long and 19 m (62 ft) in beam. The vessels have diesel electric propulsion and can keep up a speed of 15.5 knots.

The loading deck area is in excess of 1,000 sq m (10,764 sq ft), and the vessels each have a dead weight of 4,700 metric tons (5,181 tons). The X-BOW hull line is designed to eliminate slamming from head sea, increase comfort and safety, and reduce fuel consumption. The vessels comply with the DNV requirements of either the Clean or Clean Design standard.

ULSTEIN's equipment deliveries include diesel electric propulsion and engines, and the system deliveries include power distribution and propulsion, automation, internal communication and entertainment, navigation, and radio. The vessels were among the first in which ULSTEIN had the switchboards produced at their own company in Ningbo, reducing delivery time due to shipment.

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