SBM adopts new approach to lower deepwater FPSO project costs

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(Offshore) MONACO – SBM Offshore is progressing its Fast4Ward program for FPSOs, designed to make deepwater project returns more attractive at current oil prices.

Oilfield developments in deeper water, with harsher conditions, require heavier installations on deck, despite space and weight constraints. At the same time, these types of projects need to be more efficient, reliable, faster, safer and with lower project break-even prices, Offshore reports.

According to SBM, Fast4Ward addresses these challenges through optimized design and standard specifications, taking into account the company’s lessons from its 118 turnkey product deliveries, including 34 complex deepwater FPSOs, and its history of FPSO operations.

Benefits are said to be on two levels. First, standardization of installations “releases all the benefits to be had from a topsides catalogue,” with the latter available for use on existing tenders, including very large crude carrier conversions, and increasingly incorporates processes long considered too difficult to standardize.

Second, the program allows for use of a standard, multi-purpose, newbuild hull to accelerate delivery of an FPSO by up to 12 months. For a typical project, this could boost the value for a client by more than $500 million, SBM claims, substantially lowering project break-even prices.

In June 2017, the company signed a contract for the first newbuild, multi-purpose hull with CSTC and SWS, and the EPC phase of the Fast4Ward hull is now under way. Capital commitments are being phased over time, with a planned shipyard expenditure of around $20 million this year and $55 million in 2018, subject to fulfilment of agreed milestones.

SBM Offshore has identified deepwater development opportunities that it is targeting for deployment of the hull and the associated topsides catalogue.

Aside from this development, the company has sold the FPSO Marlim Sul for recycling, 15 months after decommissioning the vessel which had operated for Petrobras offshore Brazil.