Floating production storage and offloading

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FPSO Mystras at work off the shore of Nigeria
FPSO Crystal Ocean moored at the Port of Melbourne
The circular FPSO Sevan Voyageur moored at Nymo yard at Eydehavn, Norway.

A floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit is a floating vessel used by the offshore oil and gas industry for the production and processing of hydrocarbons, and for the storage of oil. An FPSO vessel is designed to receive hydrocarbons produced by itself or from nearby platforms or subsea template, process them, and store oil until it can be offloaded onto a tanker or, less frequently, transported through a pipeline. FPSOs are preferred in frontier offshore regions as they are easy to install, and do not require a local pipeline infrastructure to export oil. FPSOs can be a conversion of an oil tanker or can be a vessel built specially for the application. A vessel used only to store oil (without processing it) is referred to as a floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO). There are also under construction (as at 2013) floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessels, which will extract and liquefy natural gas on board.


Oil has been produced from offshore locations since the late 1940s. Originally, all oil platforms sat on the seabed, but as exploration moved to deeper waters and more distant locations in the 1970s, floating production systems came to be used.

The first oil FPSO was the Shell Castellon, built in Spain in 1977. Today, over 200 vessels are deployed worldwide as oil FPSOs.

On July 29, 2009, Shell and Samsung announced an agreement to build up to 10 LNG FPSOs:[1]

Flex LNG has four contracts for smaller units at the same yard.[2]

On May 20, 2011, Royal Dutch Shell announced the planned development of a floating liquefied natural gas facility (FLNG), which will be situated 200 km off the coast of Western Australia and is due for completion in around 2017.[3] When it is finished, this will be the largest floating offshore facility. It will measure around 488m long and 74m wide, and when fully ballasted will weigh 600,000 tonnes.[4] It will have a total storage capacity of 436,000 cubic metres of LNG, plus LPG condensate.

On June 2012, Petronas signed the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning contract for the project with the Technip and DSME consortium.[5] The unit is destined for the Kanowit gas field off Sarawak, Malaysia. It is expected to be the World's First Floating Liquefaction Unit in operation when completed in 2015.[6]

At the opposite (discharge and regasification) end of the LNG chain, the first ever conversion of an LNG carrier (Golar LNG owned Moss type LNG carrier) into an LNG floating storage and regasification unit was carried out in 2007 by Keppel shipyard in Singapore.[7]


FPSO diagram

Oil produced from offshore production platforms can be transported to the mainland either by pipeline or by tanker. When a tanker is chosen to transport the oil, it is necessary to accumulate oil in some form of storage tank such that the oil tanker is not continuously occupied during oil production, and is only needed once sufficient oil has been produced to fill the tanker.[citation needed]


Floating production, storage and offloading vessels are particularly effective in remote or deepwater locations where seabed pipelines are not cost effective. FPSOs eliminate the need to lay expensive long-distance pipelines from the processing facility to an onshore terminal. This can provide an economically attractive solution for smaller oil fields which can be exhausted in a few years and do not justify the expense of installing a pipeline. Furthermore, once the field is depleted, the FPSO can be moved to a new location.[citation needed]

Specific types[edit]

A floating storage and offloading unit (FSO) is essentially a simplified FPSO without the capability for oil or gas processing. Most FSOs are converted single hull supertankers. An example is Knock Nevis, ex Seawise Giant, for many years the world's largest ship, which has been converted to an FSO for use offshore. The vessel was sold to Indian ship breakers, and renamed Mont for her final journey in December 2009. After clearing Indian customs, she was sailed to, and intentionally beached at Alang, Gujarat, India for demolition.

At the other end of the LNG logistics chain, where the natural gas is brought back to ambient temperature and pressure, specially modified ships may also be used as floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs). A LNG floating storage and regasification unit receives liquefied natural gas (LNG) from offloading LNG carriers, and the onboard regasification system provides natural gas exported to shore through risers and pipelines.

Royal Dutch Shell (2013) - LNG FPSO (Liquefied Natural Gas Floating production Storage and Offloading) - Samsung Heavy Industry - $2–5 Billion.[clarification needed]



FPSO Firenze moored at Hellenic Shipyards, 2007

The FPSO operating in the deepest waters is the FPSO BW Pioneer, built and operated by BW Offshore on behalf of Petrobras Americas INC. The FPSO is moored at a depth of 2,600 m in Block 249 Walker Ridge in the US Gulf of Mexico and is rated for 80,000 bbl/d (13,000 m3/d). The EPCI contract was awarded in October 2007, and production started in early 2012. The FPSO conversion was carried out at Keppel Shipyard Tuas in Singapore, while the topsides were fabricated in modules at various international vendor locations. The FPSO has a disconnectable turret (APL). The vessel can disconnect in advance of hurricanes and reconnect with minimal down time.[citation needed] A contract for an FPSO to operate in even deeper waters (2,900 m) for Shell's Stones field in the US Gulf of Mexico was awarded to SBM Offshore in July 2013.[8]

One of the world's largest FPSO is the Kizomba A, with a storage capacity of 2.2 million barrels (350,000 m3). Built at a cost of over US$800 million by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, Korea, it is operated by Esso Exploration Angola (ExxonMobil). Located in 1200 meters (3,940 ft) of water at Deepwater block 200 statute miles (320 km) offshore in the Atlantic Ocean from Angola, Central Africa, it weighs 81,000 tonnes and is 285 meters long, 63 meters wide, and 32 meters high (935 ft by 207 ft (63 m) by 105 ft).[9]

The first FSO in the Gulf of Mexico, The FSO Ta'Kuntah, has been in operation since August 1998. The FSO, owned and operated by MODEC, is under a service agreement with PEMEX Exploration and Production. The FSO Ta'Kuntah was installed as part of the Cantarell Field Development. The field is located in the Bay of Campeche, offshore Mexico's Yucatán peninsula. The FSO Ta'Kuntah is a converted ULCC tanker with a SOFEC external turret mooring system, two flexible risers connected in a lazy-S configuration between the turret and a pipeline end manifold (PLEM) on the seabed, and a unique offloading system. The FSO is designed to handle 800,000 bbl/d (130,000 m3/d) with no allowance for downtime.[10]

The Skarv FPSO, developed and engineered by Aker Solutions for BP Norge, will be the most advanced and largest FPSO deployed in the Norwegian Sea, offshore Mid Norway. Skarv is a gas condensate and oil field development. The development will tie in five sub-sea templates, and the FPSO has capacity to include several smaller wells nearby in the future. The process plant on the vessel can handle about 19,000,000 cubic metres per day (670,000,000 cu ft/d) of gas and 13,500 cubic metres per day (480,000 cu ft/d) of oil.[11] An 80 km gas export pipe will tie in to Åsgard transport system. Aker Solutions (formerly Aker Kvaerner) developed the front-end design for the new floating production facility as well as the overall system design for the field and preparation for procurement and project management of the total field development.[12] The hull is an Aker Solutions proprietary "Tentechtm975" design.[13] BP also selected Aker Solutions to perform the detail engineering, procurement and construction management assistance (EPcma) for the Skarv field development. The EPcma contract covers detail engineering and procurement work for the FPSO topsides as well as construction management assistance to BP including hull and topside facilities. The production start for the field is scheduled for August 2011.[14] BP awarded the contract for fabrication of the Skarv FPSO hull to Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and the Turret contract to SBM. The FPSO has a length of 292m, breadth of 50.6m and is 29m deep and accommodate 100 people in single cabins. The hull will be delivered in January 2010.[12]

Current FPSOs[edit]

As of November 2013, there were 277 Floating Production Units in use around the world, of which 62% were FPSOs.[15]

FPSO Vessel Name Oilfield Current Location Field Operator Newbuild or
Vessel Designer
Cendor Phase 2 FPSO Cendor field PM304, South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia E&P O&M Services Sdn Bhd, EPOMS Conversion 2014 MISC / E&P O&M Services Sdn Bhd EPOMS
Abo FPSO Abo Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria Agip Conversion 2003 BW Offshore
Abu FSO Abu Cluster South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia Petronas Carigali Conversion 2005 MISC/FPSO Ventures
Agbami FPSO Nigeria   Star Deep Water Petroleum Newbuild 2008 Chevron
Akpo FPSO Akpo Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria Total Newbuild 2009 Total
Al Zaafarana FPSO Warda Gulf of Suez, Egypt Aker Solutions Conversion 1994 Gemsa Petroleum Co
Anasuria FPSO Teal, Teal South, Guillemot A North Sea, UK Shell Newbuild 1996  
Anoa Natuna Anoa Field, Natuna Sea Indonesia Premier Oil   1990 Premier Oil,KN, Natuna Sea BV
Angsi FSO Angsi South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia Talisman Conversion 2005 MISC/FPSO Ventures
Aoka Mizu Ettrick North Sea, UK Nexen   2009 Bluewater Energy Services
Arco Ardjuna FSO Ardjuna Oil Field West Java Sea, Indonesia Pertamina Hulu Energy   1973 Pertamina
Armada Perkasa Okoro Setu Nigeria Afren/AMNI Conversion 2009 Bumi Armada Berhad
Armada Perdana Oyo Nigeria Allied Energy/Agip 2010 Bumi Armada Berhad
Aseng FPSO Aseng Equatorial Guinea JV (SBM Offshore/GEPetrol) Conversion 2011 SBM Offshore
Åsgard A Åsgard North Sea, Norway Statoil Newbuild 1999  
Azurite FDPSO Azurite Atlantic, Republic of the Congo Murphy Oil 2009 BW Offshore
Baobab Ivoirien MV10 FPSO Baobab Field Côte d'Ivoire CNR International S.A.R.L. 2005 MODEC
Belanak Belanak Field South Natuna Sea, Indonesia ConocoPhillips 2004 KBR / J. Ray McDermott
Berge Helene Chinguetti North Atlantic Ocean, Mauretania Woodside Petroleum 2006[citation needed] BW Offshore
Bleo Holm Ross, Blake, Parry North Sea, UK Talisman Sinopec 1999[citation needed] Bluewater Energy Services
Bohai Ming Zhu FPSO Penglai19-3, China Bohai, China ConocoPhillips 2003[citation needed] CNOOC
Bonga FPSO Bonga Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria Shell 2005[citation needed] Samsung Heavy Industries
Brasil FPSO Roncador Campos Basin, Brazil Petrobras 2002[citation needed] SBM Offshore
Bunga Kertas FPSO North Lukut & Penara South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia Petronas Carigali 2004[citation needed] DPS/FPSO Ventures
Capixaba FPSO Golfinho Espírito Santo Basin, Brazil Petrobras Conversion 2006[citation needed] SBM Offshore
Captain FPSO Captain North Sea, UK Chevron Newbuild 1996[citation needed]  
Cendor FSO Cendor South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia Petrofac Conversion 2006[citation needed] MISC/FPSO Ventures
Cidade de Niteroi Jabuti, Brazil Santos Basin, Brazil MODEC (for Petrobras) Conversion 2009[citation needed] MODEC
Cidade de Itaguaí MV26 Iracema Norte, Brazil Santos Basin, Brazil MODEC (for Petrobras) Conversion 2015[citation needed] MODEC
Cidade do Rio de Janeiro MV14 FPSO Espadarte Sul Field Campos Basin, Brazil MODEC [for [Petrobras]] Conversion 2007[citation needed] MODEC
Cidade de Vitoria FPSO Golfinho II Espírito Santo Basin, Brazil Petrobras Conversion 2007 Saipem
Cuulong MV9 FPSO Su Tu Den Field Vietnam Cuulong Joint Operating Company (CLJOC) Newbuild 2003 MODEC
Dalia FPSO Block 17, Dalia Oilfield South Atlantic Ocean, Angola Total Newbuild 2006 Total
Dhirubhai 1 MA-D6 Bay of Bengal, India Reliance Industries Limited Conversion 2008 AFP
Erha[16] OPL 209 Gulf of Benin, Nigeria ExxonMobil Newbuild 2006 Saipem[17]
Espadarte FPSO Espadarte Campos Basin, Brazil Petrobras Conversion 2000 SBM Offshore
Espirito Santo BC-10 FPSO Parque das Conchas (BC10) Campos Basin, Brazil Shell Americas Conversion 2009 SBM Offshore MISC Bhd
Espoir Ivorien Espoir Gulf of Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire CNR Conversion 2002 Prosafe
Falcon FPSO Currently none Johor River, Malaysia ExxonMobil Conversion   SBM Offshore
Farwah Al-Jurf Mediterranean, Libya Total   2003  
Fluminense FPSO [18] Bijupira, Salema Atlantic, Brazil Shell Conversion 2003 Modec
Four Vanguard Woollybutt Indian Ocean, Australia ENI Conversion 2003 Premuda
Frade FPSO Frade Campos Basin, Brazil SBM Offshore Conversion 2009 SBM Offshore
Gimboa FPSO Gimboa South Atlantic Ocean, Angola Sonangol Conversion 2009 Saipem
Girassol FPSO Block 17, Girassol, Jasmine & Rosa[19] Oilfileds South Atlantic Ocean, Angola Total Newbuild 2001 Total
Glas Dowr JPDA Timor Sea ENI Newbuild 2003 Bluewater Energy Services
Global Producer III Dumbarton North Sea, UK Maersk Newbuild 2006 Maersk
Greater Plutonio FPSO Block 18 Greater Plutonio South Atlantic Ocean, Angola BP Newbuild 2007 BP
Griffin Venture FPSO Griffin, Chinook, Scindian Indian Ocean, Australia BHP Billiton Newbuild 1994  
Gryphon FPSO Gryphon North Sea, UK Maersk   1993  
Hæwene Brim FPSO Pierce North Sea, UK Shell Newbuild 1999 Bluewater Energy Services
Jasmine Venture MV7 FPSO Jasmine Field Thailand PEARL Energy Pte Ltd. Conversion 2004 MODEC
Jotun A Jotun North Sea, Norway ExxonMobil Newbuild 1999 Bluewater Energy Services
Kakap Natuna FPSO Kakap KH field Indonesia ConocoPhillips(Kakap) Ltd. Conversion 1986 MODEC
Kikeh Kikeh Sabah, Malaysia Murphy Oil Conversion 2007 SBM Offshore MISC Bhd
Kizomba A Hungo, Chocalho South Atlantic Ocean, Angola ExxonMobil Newbuild 2004 SBM Offshore
Kizomba B Kissanje, Dikanza South Atlantic Ocean, Angola ExxonMobil Newbuild 2005 SBM Offshore
Kuito FPSO Kuito Cabinda, Angola Chevron Conversion 1999 SBM Offshore
"Kwame Nkrumah" FPSO Jubilee Fields Gulf of Guinea, Ghana Tullow Oil & Others Conversion 2010 MODEC Inc.
North Sea Producer[20] MacCulloch North Sea, UK ConocoPhillips Conversion 1997 Maersk
Maersk Curlew Curlew North Sea, UK Shell Conversion 2002 Maersk[20]
Marlim Sul FPSO Marlim Sul Campos Basin, Brazil Petrobras Conversion 2004 SBM Offshore
MODEC Venture 11 FPSO Mutineer-Exeter Field Australia Santos Ltd. Conversion 2005 MODEC
Mondo FPSO Block 15 South Atlantic Ocean, Angola ExxonMobil Conversion 2008 SBM Offshore
Munin Lufeng, Xijiang South China Sea, China CNOOC Newbuild 1997 Bluewater Energy Services
MV8 Langsa Venture FPSO Langsa field Malacca Strait, Indonesia MEDCO MOECO Langsa Ltd. Conversion 2001 MODEC
Mystras FPSO Okono, Okpoho Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria Agip Conversion 2004 Saipem
Nganhurra FPSO Enfield Exmouth Sub-basin, Australia Woodside Petroleum Newbuild 2006  
Maersk Ngujima-Yin FPSO Vincent Exmouth Sub-basin, Australia Woodside Petroleum Conversion 2008 Maersk
Norne FPSO Norne North Sea, Norway Statoil Newbuild 1997  
Northern Endeavour Laminaria, Corallina Timor Sea, Indonesia Woodside Petroleum Newbuild 1999; Kvaerner/SBM;
Okha Cossack, Wanaea North West Shelf, Australia Woodside Petroleum Conversion 2011 SBM Offshore/Woodside Petroleum
Pazflor FPSO Pazflor South Atlantic Ocean, Angola Total Newbuild 2011 DSME
Perintis FPSO MASA field South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia Petronas Carigali Conversion 1999 Aker Kvaerner/M3Nergy
Petrojarl Banff Banff North Sea, UK CNR Newbuild 1999 Teekay Petrojarl
Petrojarl Foinaven Foinaven North Atlantic, UK BP Conversion 1997 Teekay Petrojarl
Petrojarl I Atlanta oilfield Undergoing Refit, Damen Shiprepair QGEP Refit Expected 2016 Teekay Petrojarl
Petrojarl Varg Varg North Sea, Norway Talisman Energy Newbuild 1999 Teekay Petrojarl
Pertroleo Nautipa FPSO Etame South Atlantic Ocean, Gabon Vaalco Energy Conversion 2002 Yinson Production, Prosafe
Polvo FPSO Polvo South Atlantic Ocean, Brazil Devon Energy Conversion 2007 Prosafe
PSVM FPSO Block 31 Plutao, Saturno, Venus, Marte South Atlantic Ocean, Angola BP Conversion 2012 MODEC/BP
Puteri Dulang FSO Dulang field South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia Petronas Carigali Conversion Unknown Petronas/FPSO Ventures
Pyrenees FPSO Ravensworth, Crosby, Stickle Fields Exmouth Sub-basin, Australia BHP Billiton Petroleum Newbuild 2010 BHP Billiton/MODEC
P-43 FPSO Barracuda Field Campos Basin, Brazil Petrobras Conversion 2005 KBR
P-48 FPSO Caratinga Field Campos Basin, Brazil Petrobras Conversion 2005 KBR
P-57 FPSO Jubarte Field Campos Basin, Brazil Petrobras Conversion 2010 SBM Offshore
Rang Dong 1 Rang Dong South China Sea, Vietnam JVPC, Nippon Oil Conversion 1998 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Raroa II Maari Tasman Sea, New Zealand OMV Conversion 2008  
Ruby Princess FPSO Ruby South China Sea, Vietnam Petrovietnam Conversion 1998 Prosafe
Ruby II FPSO Ruby South China Sea, Vietnam Petronas Carigali Vietnam Ltd Conversion 2010 MISC Bhd
Sanha LPG FPSO Angola   Chevron Newbuild 2005 SBM Offshore / Chevron
Saxi-Batuque FPSO Luanda, Angola Block 15, Angola ExxonMobil Conversion 2008 SBM Offshore
Schiehallion FPSO Schiehallion North Atlantic, UK BP Newbuild 1998 Harland & Wolff
Sea Eagle FPSO EA Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria Shell Newbuild 2003 Samsung Heavy Industries
SeaRose FPSO White Rose Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada Husky Energy Newbuild 2005 Samsung Heavy Industries
Seillean FPSO Cachalote Esprito Santo Basin, Brazil Petrobras, but built for BP Newbuild 1986 Noble Corporation
Serpentina FPSO Zafiro Gulf of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea Exxonmobil Conversion 2003 SBM Offshore
Skarv FPSO Skarv and Idun North Sea, Norway BP Newbuild 2011 BP
Song Doc MV19 FPSO Song Doc Field Vietnam Truong Son Joint Operating Company (TSJOC) Conversion 2008 MODEC
Stybarrow MV16 FPSO Stybarrow Field Exmouth Sub-basin, Australia BHP Billiton Petroleum Newbuild 2007 MODEC
Terra Nova Terra Nova Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada Suncor Newbuild 2002  
Triton Bittern, Guillemot West, Guillemot Northwest North Sea, UK Dana Petroleum[21] Newbuild 2000  
EnQuest Producer (formerly Uisge Gorm) FPSO Alma (Formerly Ardmore) Oil Field and Galia Tie-Back North Sea, UK TBD Conversion 1995/2012 reconstruction EnQuest
Umuroa FPSO Tui Tasman Sea, New Zealand Australian Worldwide Exploration Conversion 2007 APS/Prosafe Production
Xikomba FPSO Block 15, Xikomba South Atlantic Ocean, Angola ExxonMobil Conversion 2003 SBM Offshore
Yunus FSO BDR3 Mediterranean Syriah & N.T.J. Group Conversion 1998 Syriah & NTJ Group
Yúum K'ak'náab FPSO Ku-Maloob-Zaap field Gulf of Mexico PEMEX Conversion 2007 BW Offshore
ARMADA CLAIRE FPSO Balnaves Field Western Australia BUMI ARMADA Conversion 2014 BUMI ARMADA BERHAD
NABARIMA FSO Corocoro Oil Field Gulf of Paria, Venezuela PDVSA PETROSUCRE S.A Newbuild 2004 SAMSUNG HEAVY INDUSTRIES


  1. ^ http://www.platts.com/Oil/News/7093122.xml?src=Oilrssheadlines1
  2. ^ http://www.flexlng.com
  3. ^ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9ccaed4a-82ba-11e0-b97c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1NADgzzOH
  4. ^ http://gastoday.com.au/news/flng_gets_serious/042981/
  5. ^ http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/127313/Petronas_Cuts_First_Steel_for_FLNG_Facility#sthash.gzPQsC3d.dpuf
  6. ^ http://oedigital.com/component/k2/item/3760-petronas-kanowit-field-flng-facility-under-construction
  7. ^ "The world's first LNG Floating Storage and Regasification conversion". Skipsrevyen. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  8. ^ http://www.sbmoffshore.com/?press-release=sbm-offshore-awarded-contracts-to-provide-worlds-deepest-disconnectable-fpso-for-shell-stones-in-gulf-of-mexico
  9. ^ "Production grows in West Africa’s largest deepwater development" - The Lamp - Volume 86 Number 3 2004 - Exxon Mobil Corporation
  10. ^ http://www.modec.com/fps/fpso_fso/projects/cantarell.html
  11. ^ http://www.eon-ruhrgas-norge.com/cps/rde/xchg/SID-3F57EEE5-5B3326E4/er-norge/hs.xsl/2414.htm
  12. ^ a b "Skarv and Idun Fields, North Sea Northern, Norway" -
  13. ^ http://www.akersolutions.com/Internet/IndustriesAndServices/OilAndGas/FieldDevelopment/default.htm
  14. ^ %22Rigzone%22
  15. ^ "Available FPU count at all-time high". Offshore. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  16. ^ http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/engineering/deepwater-drilling/technology/overview?parentId=7bb4486e-b68e-43ee-b9fa-cff1663bd80c - ExxonMobil Corporation Latest FPSO Depolyment
  17. ^ http://www.saipem.com/site/home/activities/ec-offshore/major-projects.html
  18. ^ http://www.modec.com/fps/fpso_fso/projects/bijupira.html
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ a b "Maersk FPSO Fleet Location" - Maersk FPSO's
  21. ^ http://www.dana-petroleum.com/Media-centre/Press-releases/2012/Triton/

External links[edit]