Dutch company SBM Offshore, one of the largest providers of floating production units in the world, has revealed a model of the FPSO to be deployed in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
The model of what will be called the FPSO Turritella is being shown at the Offshore Technology Conference currently underway in Houston, Texas.
The FPSO Turritella will, once completed, begin its contract with Shell at the Stones field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The unit will be leased to Shell on an initial period of ten years with future extension options up to a total of 20 years.
The Stones development is located in 2,896m (9500ft) of water approximately 320km (200 miles) offshore Louisiana in the Walker Ridge area. When installed, the Stones FPSO will be the deepest FPSO development in the world.
The converted Suezmax FPSO will have a turret with a disconnectable buoy (Buoyant Turret Mooring or BTM) allowing it to weathervane in normal conditions and disconnect from the FPSO upon the approach of a hurricane. The BTM will be configured with Steel Lazy-Wave Risers (SLWR) which will be a first application for a disconnectable FPSO. The mooring system will also incorporate the ability to adjust line tension during operations by use of an In-Line Mooring Connector (ILMC).
The FPSO is a typical generation 2 design with a processing facility capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and 15 mmscfd of gas treatment and export. No water injection facilities are specified. The Suezmax hull will be able to store 800,000 barrels of crude oil and total topsides weight will reach 7 thousand tons.
2nd in the GOM
This will be the second FPSO in the Gulf of Mexico. Petrobras’ was the first company to develop an offshore oil field in the area using the FPSO technology.
On September 6, 2012, Petrobras began oil production in the ultra-deep waters of the Chinook oilfield from the floating production, storage and offloading platform, FPSO BW Pioneer, moored some 250 kilometers off the coast of the State of Louisiana in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.