Project delays likely as construction yards close on COVID-19 concerns – SBM Offshore

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Construction activities being carried out by Dutch floater-specialist SBM offshore at several locations across the world, including Singapore where the Liza Unity FPSO is being built for ExxonMobil’s second development project in Guyana, could face some project execution delays as shipyards close on COVID-19 concerns.

SBM Offshore said additional measures and protocols have been put in place to ensure the health and well-being of staff and contractors at these yards.

“Construction yards in China reopened in February and are now close to planned capacity. In Singapore and Dubai, the yards have remained open until the end of March. Since last week, the authorities suspended activities at the yard in Singapore for a period of two weeks. Some delays in project execution will be unavoidable,” SBM Offshore said in an update on Wednesday.

The company said it is in close contact with clients and business partners to manage the situation, adjust execution planning, and where appropriate, create mitigation plans.

The Fast4Ward® hull for the Liza Unity FPSO arrived at the Keppel shipyard in Singapore, from China, in January. The FPSO design includes a new build, multi-purpose hull combined with several standardized topsides modules.

Out of a global total of 28 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels that are under construction, 22 are being built at shipyards in China, South Korea and Singapore.

Norway-based Rystad Energy has said it expects the COVID-19 pandemic will cause extensive staffing and supply shortages in these countries that will in turn delay project deliveries by at least three to six months.

“Although operators and contractors are looking into ways to make up for some of the time that will be lost by fast-tracking other stages of development, we anticipate first oil or gas for these projects will face clear delays,“ said Rystad Energy Partner and head of Oilfield Service Research Audun Martinsen.

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