SBM Offshore working to develop FPSOs powered by wind, solar energy

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The reduction of greenhouse gases is one of the greatest challenges facing operators and service companies in the oil industry. But the task is certainly not an insurmountable one for Dutch floater specialist, SBM Offshore. Over the past few years, the company has been taking a number of innovative approaches to reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet.

In fact, the company has made good progress with respect to flaring since over the last four years it has seen a cumulative reduction of 34 percent for its vessels. But the company is not stopping there. According to its senior officials, more promising technological advancements to reduce the release of emissions are underway.

During the company’s 2019 fourth quarter earnings call, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bruno Chabas, revealed that SBM Offshore is creating targets for the production phase on flaring and venting, but also taking the maintenance to the drawing board. In this regard, he noted that the company’s mission is to develop FPSOs with a zero net carbon footprint for its production.

Expounding further, Chabas said that there are a number of things the company has done in the past to show that it has been able to reduce the flaring from its fleet by making sure that gas power and gas turbine equipment are available. He noted however that other mechanisms are being examined. In this regard, the CEO said that SBM is looking at the possibilities of generating an FPSO with a gas recycling unit as well as linking an FPSO with a renewable source of energy. Chabas said that this could be in the form of wind or solar energy in order to generate power for the FPSO.

“…So, we see a number of avenues in order to go forward in reducing the emission of our FPSO…We believe that through technological investments and innovation, working with a number of partners, we can get to a different step and with the aim of getting to a place where we’re going to be to a zero-emission activity. It is going to require some investment, but we’re committed to that,” the Chief Executive Officer stated.

Chabas said that the world will need a lot more energy going forward while, at the same time, significantly reducing the impact on the environment. He was keen to note that SBM Offshore will play the role as a technological innovator and stimulate and support the transition towards sustainable energy.

SBM Offshore is the builder and operator of the Liza Destiny FPSO currently producing oil for ExxonMobil at the Liza Phase 1 Development offshore Guyana.

The company has also been contracted to build additional oil production vessels for ExxonMobil’s Guyana operations such as the Liza Unity FPSO for the already approved Liza Phase 2 Development. Following government approvals for the third development in Guyana at Payara, SBM Offshore will proceed from the FEED stage to build the Prosperity FPSO.


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