PHOTO: Culzean-bound FSO Ailsa hits the water

Danish oil firm Maersk Oil has shared a photo on its social media channels showing its Culzean field-destined Ailsa floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel in the water for the first time.

The company said on Monday that the FSO had undocked on schedule, which is another step towards the Ailsa leaving Singapore and beginning its journey to the North Sea in 2018.

Maersk added that, since the FSO is now afloat, the focus has moved to finishing off the turret and topside sections aiming for mechanical completion at year end.

The vessel, when fully completed, will be 243 meters long which is, according to Maersk, longer than three Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger plane. The vessel’s highest point, at 52 meters, will be taller than Nelson’s Column in London and the vessel will be able to store the equivalent of over 430,000 barrels of oil.

​“It’s a significant milestone for the project,” says Claus Vissing-Jorgensen, Deputy Project Director and Facilities Manager. “It marks a major step towards readying the FSO to leave Singapore next year and travel to the North Sea. I’d like to congratulate the team on this success. It’s especially great to see a mega-project such as ours consistently hitting milestones on target. It definitely couldn’t be done without a strong and talented team, and that is what we have.”

Lars Banke, site and interface manager, said: “Construction of the FSO has been spread across six different yards in Singapore and Indonesia so it’s been a real challenge to make sure everything stays in sync and on track.”

Steve Michie, FSO and subsea manager, added: “The team will next be working on installing the turret which is a pivotal piece of the mooring system and also the FSO topsides, key to processing the condensate when on board. At the same time, we’re preparing for our two month tow from Singapore to the UK North Sea waters and the subsequent offshore commissioning campaign.”

Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine cut first steel for the Ailsa FSO vessel on July 22, 2016. After it begins work on the Culzean field, the FSO will remain in service until at least 2033.

As far as the field goes, Culzean is a high-pressure/ high-temperature field in the UK North Sea developed using three bridge-linked platforms: a wellhead platform where drilling and production takes place; a central processing platform where the produced gas and condensate are processed and exported; and utilities and living quarters, providing accommodation, living space, and services for the crew.

The installation of central processing facilities (CPF) and the utilities and living quarters (ULQ) jackets was completed on July 20, while the wellhead platform (WHP) jacket was installed last year. All three jackets were built by Heerema and installed using the Heerema Marine operated crane vessel; the Thialf.

Gas will be exported to the CATS pipeline, coming onshore at Teeside, with condensate exported via a short pipeline to the FSO vessel for offloading onto a tanker.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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