Floating production storage and offloading
A floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit is a floating vessel used by the offshore industry for the processing of hydrocarbons and for storage of produced oil. The basic design of most FPSOs encompasses a ship-shaped vessel, with processing equipment, or topsides, aboard the vessel's deck and hydrocarbon storage below in the double hull.
A FPSO vessel is designed to receive hydrocarbons produced from nearby platforms or subsea template, process them, and store oil until it can be offloaded onto a tanker or transported through a pipeline. FPSOs are preferred in frontier offshore regions as they are easy to install, and do not require a local pipeline infrastructure to export oil. FPSOs can be a conversion of an oil tanker or can be a vessel built specially for the application. A vessel used only to store oil (without processing it) is referred to as a floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO).
Oil has been produced from offshore locations since the late 1940s. Originally, all oil platforms sat on the seabed, but as exploration moved to deeper waters and more distant locations in the 1970s, floating production systems came to be used.
The first oil FPSO was the Shell Castellon, built in Spain in 1977.
The Sanha LPG FPSO operates offshore Angola, and is the first such vessel with complete onboard liquefied petroleum gas processing and export facilities. It can store up to 135,000 cubic meters of LPG while awaiting export tankers for offloading.
In the opposite (discharge and regasification) end of the LNG chain, the first ever conversion of a LNG carrier (Golar LNG owned Moss type LNG carrier) into an LNG floating storage and regasification unit was carried out in 2007 by Keppel shipyard in Singapore. An LNG FPSO works under the same principles an oil FPSO works under, taking the well stream and separating out the natural gas (primarily methane and ethane) and producing LNG, which is stored and offloaded. On July 29, 2009, Shell and Samsung announced an agreement to build up to 10 LNG FPSOs:  Already Flex LNG has four contracts for smaller units at the same yard.
On May 20 2011, Royal Dutch Shell announced the planned development of a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility, which will be situated 200km off the coast of Western Australia and is due for completion in around 2017. When it is finished, this will be the largest floating offshore facility. It will measure around 488m long and 74m wide, and when fully ballasted will weigh 600,000 tonnes.. It will have a total storage capacity of 436,000 cubic metres of LNG, plus LPG condensate.
Oil produced from offshore production platforms can be transported to the mainland either by pipeline or by tanker. When a tanker is chosen to transport the oil, it is necessary to accumulate oil in some form of storage tank such that the oil tanker is not continuously occupied during oil production, and is only needed once sufficient oil has been produced to fill the tanker. At this point the transport tanker connects to the stern of the storage unit and offloads oil.
In the early days, the storage units consisted of decommissioned oil tankers, which were stripped down and equipped with process/production facilities (becoming therefore FPSOs), and were connected to a permanent mooring point. Today, there are two main types of FPSOs, those built converting an existing oil tanker, and those that are purpose-built. The FPSO design will depend on the area of operation. In benign waters the FPSO may have a simple box shape or it may be a converted tanker. Generally (but not always) the production lines (risers) are connected to a major component of the vessel, called a Turret, which allows the vessel to rotate in order to head into the wind and reduce environmental forces on the moorings. In relatively calm waters, such as in West Africa, turrets can be located externally to the ship structure, hanging off the bow of the FPSO. For harsher environments like the North Sea, the turret is generally located internally. The turrets and the mooring systems can be designed to be disconnectible or to remain permanently moored. Most ship-shaped FPSOs in the North Sea are purpose-built and are permanently moored.
While most FPSOs are ship-shaped, some FPSOs have a semi-submersible type hull with storage (very rare), or have a cylindrical hull (see Sevan Marine). The inherent symmetry of these FPSO configurations makes turrets unnecessary, so the platforms remain in a fixed orientation.
An FPSO has the capability to carry out some form of separation process. If the unit does not have such facilities, it is generally referred to as a Floating Storage and Offloading unit (see below), and would be operated in conjunction with a production platform. Process plant on FPSO is a core component on facility and forms a key part of production process. Production is usually conducted in 3 phases 1 Separation of Gas. 2 Separation of Water. 3 Separation of oil. Gas recovered/separated during production may be used as fuel on Marine energy resource units ( MRU) fitted on board. Gas may be flared off in some cases if MRU is not fitted. Water separation may be carried out using Dehydrators or Hydro Cyclones
Floating production, storage and offloading vessels are particularly effective in remote or deepwater locations where seabed pipelines are not cost effective. FPSOs eliminate the need to lay expensive long-distance pipelines from the oil well to an onshore terminal. They can also be used economically in smaller oil fields which can be exhausted in a few years and do not justify the expense of installing a pipeline. Once the field is depleted, the FPSO can be moved to a new location. In areas of the world subject to cyclones (northwestern Australia) or icebergs (Canada), some FPSOs are able to release their mooring/riser turret and steam away to safety in an emergency. The turret sinks beneath the waves and can be reconnected later.
A floating storage and offloading unit (FSO) is a floating storage device, which is a simplified FPSO without the capability for oil or gas processing. Most FSOs are old single hull supertankers that have been converted. An example is Knock Nevis, ex Seawise Giant, the world's largest ship, which had been converted to an FSO to be used offshore Qatar.
At the other end of the LNG logistics chain, where the natural gas is brought back to ambient temperature and pressure, ships may also be used as FSRUs. A LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is a floating storage and regasification system, which receives liquefied natural gas (LNG) from offloading LNG carriers, and the onboard regasification system provides natural gas send-out through flexible risers and pipeline to shore. Mooring systems for FSO, FPSO & FSU units are available in market which allow the vessel to be moored on a ice sheet. Ice sheet used for mooring this case may be located below th ice sheet under water.
The FPSO operating in the deepest water depth is the Espirito Santo FPSO from Shell America operated by Brazilian Deepwater Production Ltd (a joint venture between MISC Bhd and SBM Offshore). The FPSO is moored at a depth of 1,800 m in the Campos Basin, Brazil and is rated for 100,000 bpd. The EPCI contract was awarded in November 2006 and first oil was achieved in July 2009. The FPSO conversions and internal turret were done at Keppel Shipyard Tuas in Singapore and the topsides were fabricated in modules at Dynamac and BTE in Singapore.
The world's largest FPSO is the Kizomba A, with a storage capacity of 2.2 million barrels (350,000 m3). Built at a cost of over US$800 million by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, Korea, it is operated by Esso Exploration Angola (ExxonMobil). Located in 1200 meters (3,940 ft) of water at Deepwater block 200 statute miles (320 km) offshore in the Atlantic Ocean from Angola, Central Africa, it weighs 81,000 tonnes and is 285 meters long, 63 meters wide, and 32 meters high (935 ft by 207 ft (63 m) by 105 ft).
The first FSO in the Gulf of Mexico, The FSO Ta'Kuntah, has been in operation since August 1998. The FSO is under a service agreement with PEMEX Exploration and Production. MODEC owns and operates the FSO. The FSO Ta'Kuntah was installed as part of the Cantarell Field Development in the Gulf of Mexico. The field is located in the Bay of Campeche, offshore Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. The FSO Ta'Kuntah is a converted ULCC tanker with a SOFEC external turret mooring system, two flexible risers connected in a lazy-S configuration between the turret and a pipeline end manifold (PLEM) on the seabed, and a unique offloading system. The FSO is designed to handle 800,000 BOPD with no allowance for downtime. 
The world's smallest FPSO is the Crystal Ocean, operating in 137 m of water in the Bass Strait between Australia and Tasmania on the Basker Manta Field. It is leased by Roc Oil (Sydney-based international petroleum exploration and production company) from Rubicon Offshore and is operated on their behalf by AGR Asia Pacific; it is currently producing 5,000 bpd.
The FPSO in the shallowest water depth of just 13 m is the Armada Perkasa in the Okoro field in Nigeria, West Africa, for Afren Energy. This spread moored (fixed orientation) vessel uses 100 mm, 150 mm and 200 mm bore DeepFlex non-steel flexible risers in a double lazy wave formation (with weights and distributed buoyancy) to accommodate the large motion offsets in an environment of extreme waves and currents.
The Skarv FPSO, developed and engineered by Aker Solutions for BP Norge, will be the most advanced and largest FPSO deployed in the Norwegian Sea, offshore Mid Norway. Skarv is a gas condensate and oil field development. The development will tie in five sub-sea templates, and the FPSO has capacity to include several smaller wells nearby in the future. The process plant on the vessel can handle about 19 MSm3/d (670 MScf/d) of gas and 13,500 Sm3/d of oil (85,000 bbl/d). An 80 km gas export pipe will tie in to Åsgard transport system. Aker Solutions (formerly Aker Kvaerner) developed the front-end design for the new floating production facility as well as the overall system design for the field and preparation for procurement and project management of the total field development. The hull is an Aker Solutions proprietary "Tentechtm975" design. BP also selected Aker Solutions to perform the detail engineering, procurement and construction management assistance (EPcma) for the Skarv field development. The EPcma contract covers detail engineering and procurement work for the FPSO topsides as well as construction management assistance to BP including hull and topside facilities. The production start for the field is scheduled for August 2011. BP awarded the contract for fabrication of the Skarv FPSO hull to Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and the Turret contract to SBM. The FPSO has a length of 292m, breadth of 50.6m and is 29m deep and accommodate 100 people in single cabins. The hull will be delivered in January 2010.
In July 2011, Shell announced the world's largest FPSO, scheduled to come on stream in 2017.
Data on operating FPSOs is reported each year in an annual survey.
|This section is incomplete. (June 2009)|
|FPSO Vessel Name||Oilfield||Current Location||Field Operator|| Newbuild or
| Vessel Designer
|Abo FPSO||Abo||Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria||Agip||Conversion||2003||Prosafe|
|Agbami FPSO||Nigeria||Star Deep Water Petroleum||Newbuild||2008||Chevron|
|Akpo FPSO||Akpo||Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria||Total||Newbuild||2009||Total|
|Al Zaafarana FPSO||Warda||Gulf of Suez, Egypt||Aker Solutions||Conversion||1994||Gemsa Petroleum Co|
|Anasuria FPSO||Teal, Teal South, Guillemot A||North Sea, UK||Shell||Newbuild||1996|
|Anoa Natuna||Anoa Field, Natuna Sea||Indonesia||Premier Oil||1990||Premier Oil,KN, Natuna Sea BV|
|Aoka Mizu||Ettrick||North Sea, UK||Nexen||2009||Bluewater Energy Services|
|Arco Ardjuna FSO||Ardjuna Oil Field||West Java Sea, Indonesia||Pertamina Hulu Energy||1973||Pertamina|
|Armada Perkasa||Okoro Setu||Nigeria||Afren/AMNI||Conversion||2009||Bumi Armada Berhad|
|Armada Perdana||Oyo||Nigeria||Allied Energy/Agip||Conversion||2010||Bumi Armada Berhad|
|Åsgard A||Åsgard||North Sea, Norway||Statoil||Newbuild||1999|
|Azurite FDPSO||Azurite||Atlantic, Republic of the Congo||Murphy Oil||Conversion||2009||Prosafe Production|
|Baobab Ivoirien MV10 FPSO||Baobab Field||Côte d'Ivoire||CNR International S.A.R.L.||Conversion||2005||MODEC Inc.|
|Belanak||Belanak Field||South Natuna Sea, Indonesia||ConocoPhillips||Newbuild||2004||KBR / J. Ray McDermott|
|Berge Helene(OIM Adarsh Shukla)||Chinguetti||North Atlantic Ocean, Mauretania||Woodside Petroleum||Conversion||2006|
|Bleo Holm||Ross, Blake, Parry||North Sea, UK||Talisman Energy||Conversion||1999||Bluewater Energy Services|
|Bohai Ming Zhu FPSO||Penglai19-3, China||Bohai, China||ConocoPhillips||2003||CNOOC|
|Bonga FPSO||Bonga||Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria||Shell||Newbuild||2005||Samsung Heavy Industries|
|Brasil FPSO||Roncador||Campos Basin, Brazil||Petrobras||Conversion||2002||SBM Offshore|
|Bunga Kertas FPSO||North Lukut & Penara||South China Sea, Peninsula Malaysia||Petronas Carigali||Conversion||2004||DPS/FPSO Ventures|
|Capixaba FPSO||Golfinho||Espírito Santo Basin, Brazil||Petrobras||Conversion||2006||SBM Offshore|
|Captain FPSO||Captain||North Sea, UK||Chevron||Newbuild||1996|
|Cidade de Niteroi||Jabuti, Brazil||Santos Basin, Brazil||MODEC (for Petrobras)||Conversion||2009||MODEC Inc.|
|Cidade do Rio de Janeiro MV14 FPSO||Espadarte Sul Field||Campos Basin, Brazil||Petrobras||Conversion||2007||MODEC Inc.|
|Cidade de Vitoria FPSO||Golfinho II||Espírito Santo Basin, Brazil||Petrobras||Conversion||2007||Saipem|
|Cossack Pioneer||Cossack, Wanaea||Indian Ocean, Australia||Woodside Petroleum||Conversion||1995|
|Cuulong MV9 FPSO||Su Tu Den Field||Vietnam||Cuulong Joint Operating Company (CLJOC)||Newbuild||2003||MODEC Inc.|
|Dalia FPSO||Dalia||South Atlantic Ocean, Angola||Total||Newbuild||2006||Total|
|Dhirubhai 1||MA-D6||Bay of Bengal, India||Reliance Industries Limited||Conversion||2008||AFP|
|Erha||OPL 209||Gulf of Benin, Nigeria||ExxonMobil||Newbuild||2006|
|Espadarte FPSO||Espadarte||Campos Basin, Brazil||Petrobras||Conversion||2000||SBM Offshore|
|Espirito Santo BC-10 FPSO||Espirito Santo (BC10)||Campos Basin, Brazil||Shell Americas||Conversion||2009||SBM Offshore MISC Bhd|
|Espoir Ivorien||Espoir||Gulf of Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire||CNR||Conversion||2002||Prosafe|
|Falcon FPSO||Currently none||Johor River, Malaysia||ExxonMobil||Conversion||SBM Offshore|
|Four Vanguard||Woollybutt||Indian Ocean, Australia||ENI||Conversion||2003||Premuda|
|Gimboa FPSO||Gimboa||South Atlantic Ocean, Angola||Sonangol||Conversion||2009||Saipem|
|Girassol FPSO||Girassol||South Atlantic Ocean, Angola||Total||Newbuild||2001||Total|
|Glas Dowr||Sable||Indian Ocean, South Africa||PetroSA||Newbuild||2003||Bluewater Energy Services|
|Global Producer III||Dumbarton||North Sea, UK||Maersk||Newbuild||2006||Maersk|
|Greater Plutonio FPSO||Block 18 Greater Plutonio||South Atlantic Ocean, Angola||BP||Newbuild||2007||BP|
|Griffin Venture FPSO||Griffin, Chinook, Scindian||Indian Ocean, Australia||BHP Billiton||Newbuild||1994|
|Gryphon FPSO||Gryphon||North Sea, UK||Maersk||1993|
|Hæwene Brim FPSO||Pierce||North Sea, UK||Shell||Newbuild||1999||Bluewater Energy Services|
|Jasmine Venture MV7 FPSO||Jasmine Field||Thailand||PEARL Energy Pte Ltd.||Conversion||2004||MODEC Inc.|
|Jotun A||Jotun||North Sea, Norway||ExxonMobil||Newbuild||1999||Bluewater Energy Services|
|Kakap Natuna FPSO||Kakap KH field||Indonesia||ConocoPhillips(Kakap) Ltd.||Conversion||1986||MODEC Inc.|
|Kikeh||Kikeh||Sabah, Malaysia||Murphy Oil||Conversion||2007||SBM Offshore MISC Bhd|
|Kizomba A||Hungo, Chocalho||South Atlantic Ocean, Angola||ExxonMobil||Newbuild||2004||SBM Offshore|
|Kizomba B||Kissanje, Dikanza||South Atlantic Ocean, Angola||ExxonMobil||Newbuild||2005||SBM Offshore|
|Kuito FPSO||Kuito||Cabinda, Angola||Chevron||Conversion||1999||SBM Offshore|
|"Kwame Nkrumah" FPSO||Jubilee Fields||Gulf of Guinea, Ghana||Tullow Oil & Others||Conversion||2010||MODEC Inc|
|North Sea Producer ||MacCulloch||North Sea, UK||ConocoPhillips||Conversion||1997||Maersk|
|Maersk Curlew||Curlew||North Sea, UK||Shell||Conversion||2002||Maersk |
|Marlim Sul FPSO||Marlim Sul||Campos Basin, Brazil||Petrobras||Conversion||2004||SBM Offshore|
|MODEC Venture 11 FPSO||Mutineer-Exeter Field||Australia||Santos Ltd.||Conversion||2005||MODEC Inc.|
|Mondo FPSO||Luanda, Angola||Block 15, Angola||ExxonMobil||Conversion||2008||SBM Offshore|
|Munin||Lufeng, Xijiang||South China Sea, China||CNOOC||Newbuild||1997||Bluewater Energy Services|
|MV8 Langsa Venture FPSO||Langsa field||Malacca Strait, Indonesia||MEDCO MOECO Langsa Ltd.||Conversion||2001||MODEC Inc.|
|Mystras FPSO||Okono, Okpoho||Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria||Agip||Conversion||2004||Saipem|
|Nganhurra FPSO||Enfield||Exmouth Sub-basin, Australia||Woodside Petroleum||Newbuild||2006|
|Maersk Ngujima-Yin FPSO||Vincent||Exmouth Sub-basin, Australia||Woodside Petroleum||Conversion||2008||Maersk|
|Norne FPSO||Norne||North Sea, Norway||Statoil||Newbuild||1997|
|Northern Endeavour||Laminaria, Corallina||Timor Sea, Indonesia||Woodside Petroleum||Newbuild||1999;||Kvaerner/SBM;|
|Perintis||MASA field||South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia||Petronas Carigali||Conversion||1999||Aker Kvaerner/M3Nergy;|
|Petrojarl Banff||Banff||North Sea, UK||CNR||Newbuild||1999||Teekay Petrojarl;|
|Petrojarl Foinaven||Foinaven||North Atlantic, UK||BP||Conversion||1997||Teekay Petrojarl|
|Petrojarl I||Glitne oilfield||North Sea, Norway||Statoil||Newbuild||2001||Teekay Petrojarl|
|Petrojarl Varg||Varg||North Sea, Norway||Talisman Energy||Newbuild||1999||Teekay Petrojarl|
|Pertroleo Nautipa FPSO||Etame||South Atlantic Ocean, Gabon||Vaalco Energy||Conversion||2002||Fred Olsen Production, Prosafe|
|Polvo FPSO||Polvo||South Atlantic Ocean, Brazil||Devon Energy||Conversion||2007||Prosafe|
|Rang Dong 1||Rang Dong||South China Sea, Vietnam||JVPC, Nippon Oil||Conversion||1998||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|Raroa II||Maari||Tasman Sea, New Zealand||OMV||Conversion||2008|
|Ruby Princess FPSO||Ruby||South China Sea, Vietnam||Petrovietnam||Conversion||1998||Prosafe|
|Ruby II FPSO||Ruby||South China Sea, Vietnam||Petronas Carigali Vietnam Ltd||Conversion||2010||MISC Bhd|
|Sanha LPG FPSO||Angola||Chevron||Newbuild||2005||Chevron|
|Saxi-Batuque FPSO||Luanda, Angola||Block 15, Angola||ExxonMobil||Conversion||2008||SBM Offshore|
|Schiehallion FPSO||Schiehallion||North Atlantic, UK||BP||Newbuild||1998||Harland & Wolff|
|Sea Eagle FPSO||EA||Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria||Shell||Newbuild||2003|
|SeaRose FPSO||White Rose||Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada||Husky Energy||Newbuild||2005|
|Seillean FPSO||Cachalote||Esprito Santo Basin, Brazil||Petrobras but built for BP||Newbuild||1986||Noble Corporation|
|Serpentina FPSO||Zafiro||Gulf of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea||Exxonmobil||Conversion||2003||SBM Offshore|
|Skarv FPSO||Skarv and Idun||North Sea, Norway||BP||Newbuild||2011||BP|
|Song Doc MV19 FPSO||Song Doc Field||Vietnam||Truong Son Joint Operating Company (TSJOC)||Conversion||2008||MODEC Inc.|
|Stybarrow MV16 FPSO||Stybarrow Field||Exmouth Sub-basin, Australia||BHP Billiton Petroleum||Newbuild||2007||MODEC Inc.|
|Terra Nova||Terra Nova||Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Canada||Suncor||Newbuild||2002|
|Triton||Bittern, Guillemot West, Guillemot Northwest||North Sea, UK||Amerada Hess||Newbuild||2000|
|Uisge Gorm FPSO||Fife, Fergus, Flora, Angus||North Sea, UK||Amerada Hess||Conversion||1995||Bluewater Energy Services|
|Umuroa FPSO||Tui||Tasman Sea, New Zealand||Australian Worldwide Exploration||Conversion||2007||APS/Prosafe Production|
|Xikomba FPSO||Xikomba||Block 15, Angola||ExxonMobil||Conversion||2003||SBM Offshore|
|Yunus FSO||BDR3||Mediterranean||Syriah & N.T.J. Group||Conversion||1998||Syriah & NTJ Group|
|Yúum K'ak'náab FPSO||Ku-Maloob-Zaap field||Gulf of Mexico||PEMEX||Newbuild||1998||BW Offshore AS, Norway|
Designers & Builders
- Aibel 
- Aker Solutions 
- Bluewater 
- BW Offshore 
- Chicago Bridge & Iron 
- Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) 
- Hyundai Heavy Industries
- Keppel Shipyard
- Lamprell Energy
- Larsen & Toubro
- London Floating Production Ltd
- London Marine Consultants Ltd
- MISC Bhd 
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
- Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES) 
- MODEC Inc. 
- NORTECHS FPSO 
- Oceaneering International Services 
- Saipem 
- SBM Offshore
- Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) 
- Sevan Marine 
- Tanker Pacific Offshore Terminals Pte Ltd 
- Technip 
- Kavin Engineering And Services Private Limited 
- WorleyParsons 
- Saipem Triune Engineering Pvt. Ltd., India 
- "The world's first LNG Floating Storage and Regasification conversion". Skipsrevyen. http://www.skipsrevyen.no/artikler/artikler-1-2006/798.html. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
- "Production grows in West Africa’s largest deepwater development" - The Lamp - Volume 86 Number 3 2004 - Exxon Mobil Corporation
- "Skarv and Idun Fields, North Sea Northern, Norway" -
- 2009 Worldwide Survey of Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Units, Mustang Engineering, August 2009
- "Maersk FPSO Fleet Location" - Maersk FPSO's
- "Maersk FPSO Fleet Location" - Maersk FPSO's
- FPSO Seillean FPSO Seillean - the World's first DP production vessel - BP SWOPS
- Auld Alliance Trading FPSO Services FPSO Services - Auld Alliance FPSO production services
- "FPSO World Fleet". 2004. http://www.fpso.net/. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Installations at the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association
- FPSO's FAQ's at the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association
- FPSOs at the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service - Gulf of Mexico OCS Region
- FPSO pages at Offshore-Technology
- FPSO pages at Ship-Technology
- 2010 Worldwide Survey of FPSO Vessels by Mustang Engineering for Offshore Magazine