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By: Team 5 Carly Rheman Ashley Maskus Taylor Horn Brett Forrester Amelia Jaska

Ocean Engineering Program, Civil Engineering Department, Texas A&M University May 3, 2013

Table of Contents
Topic Page Number I Introduction..1 1.1 Abstract..1 1.2 Brief History..1 II Physical Characteristics...2 2.1 Types of FPSOs.2 2.1.1 Vessel Shape...2 2.1.2 Water Depth3 2.1.3 Turret Type.3 2.1.4 Mooring Arrangement3 2.1.5 Vessel Size and Variety..5 2.1.6 Product Types.5 2.1.7 Environment5 2.2 FPSO Topsides..5 2.2.1 Separation...5 2.2.2 Compression...6 2.2.3 Processing...6 2.2.4 Generation...6 2.2.5 Utilities6 III Applications.....7 3.1 Oil FPSOs..7 3.1.1 Oil FPSO Girrasol...8 3.2 LNG FPSOs...8 3.2.1 LNG FPSO Prelude8 3.3 LPG FPSOs....9 3.3.1 LPG FPSO Sanha9 IV Economics..10 4.1 FPSOs Take Precedence Over Offshore..10 4.2 Oil Production Economics...11 4.3 Cost Breakdown...11 4.4 Leasing vs. Owning.12 4.5 Market Correlation between Offshore Products and the Oil Industry.13 V Conclusion.....14 References..15

List of Figures
Figure 1....1 Figure 2....2 Figure 3....3 Figure 4....4 Figure 5....4 Figure 6....7 Figure 7....9 Figure 8......10 Figure 9..10 Figure 10....13

List of Tables
Table 1.......12 Table 2...13

Chapter I Introduction
1.1 Abstract Today, oil accounts for nearly 36 percent of the energy demand in the United States alone. Worldwide the request for oil has been at an all-time high becoming a leading source for energy since the1950s. Due to the limited and depleted sources to drill for oil on land, drilling for oil has moved offshore in more recent years. Floating production, storage, and offloading vessels (FPSOs) have been an efficient selection for the production and storage of oil and gas offshore. These structures can be used in remote or deep water locations, and prove to be a cost effective design for many oil/FPSO contractors and oil companies. An FPSO is seen as a converted tanker that can take many shapes; ship shaped design, multi-hull production semi-submersible, or a cylindrical shaped production spar /Mono Hull. Each design provides its own advantages and disadvantages; therefore, the decision is ultimately up to the company. FPSOs are extremely advantageous and efficient in deep water locations however, for they deplete the need to lay long pipelines to reach from the facility to an onshore terminal, and they are moveable from one place to the next. In general, this makes FPSOs a cost effective option for companies as well as a leader in the offshore market. Brief History The development of FPSOs first began when exploration moved to deeper and further waters during the 1970s. As the need for more mobile and adaptable vessels grew, so did the production of FPSOs. The first vessel built was the Shell Castellon in Spain in 1977. Operating in the Mediterranean in about 380 feet of water, it paved the way for new exploration of the oceans oil fields. By 2006, the Gulf of Mexico was introduced to FPSOs for the first time with the Cascade/Chinook project in a depth of about 8000 feet. . Thirty years from their first introduction to the market, they still dominate the offshore oil and gas industry.


Figure 1. Growth in the use of FPSOs from 1977 to 2009

Chapter II Physical Characteristics

2.1 Types of FPSOs The FPSOs must be very apt to their surrounding environment and therefore have to be designed for many different areas of operation. There are two main ways to acquire FPSOS: conversion from a tanker or purpose built. About 70 percent of FPSOs in operation are of the tanker conversion variety and 30 percent are new builds. While considering whether to construct a new build or a conversion, the vessel shape, water depth, turret design, mooring arrangements, vessel size, product type, and environment must all be taken into consideration. 2.1.1 Vessel Shape While the tanker conversions are typically ship shaped, the new builds have developed different varieties. The cylindrical shaped FPSO was developed in the early 2000s to better handle the motion of the ship on water. The cylindrical shape allows for the vessel to experience less stress at the center of the ship due to the motion of the ocean water. Unlike the typical ship shaped FPSO, the cylindrical shaped FPSO lacks a turret. It is designed to provide improved motions, higher stability reserves and higher deck load capacity than conventional units. This shape also allows for an unlimited number of risers, making it a very efficient method of oil procurement.

Figure 2. Sevan Voyageur cylindrical shaped FPSO (left) vs. Ship Shaped FPSO (right) 2.1.2 Water Depth One of the advantages of the FPSO is the ability to be designed for varying water depths. The shallowest FPSO, the Armada Perkasa, operates in the Okoro Field in West Africa in only 43 feet of water while the deepest FPSO, the Pioneer, operates in the Gulf of Mexico at a depth of 8530 feet of water. Many other factors are also dependent on the depth of operation such as the size, and the turret arrangement and connectivity.

2.1.3 Turret Type The turret is the part of the FPSO that anchors the mooring lines and riser to the vessel to maintain the ship position. The internal turret and external turret are the two main types used on FPSOs. The external turret is located outside the ship hull and is generally a cheaper and faster design that allows it to weathervane 360 degrees. This allows for the vessel to operate in moderate to extreme sea conditions. This system can also be mounted at either the bow or the stern, depending on the overall design of the FPSO. The internal system can accommodate more risers and can also be designed to disconnect in the case of severe weather. This type of turret is typically found in the purpose build FPSOs because the cost of installation is too high in the tanker conversions. While the chain table structure is located above the water surface for the external system, it is typically found submerged in the internal system.

Figure 3. Internal and external turret designs 2.1.4 Mooring Arrangement FPSOs are primarily moored in two arrangements: either the single point mooring system or the spread mooring system. The Spread mooring system involves multiple anchor lines extending from the bow and stern of the vessel and anchor it to the sea floor. This system is used in all water depths and mild to moderate environments. The spread mooring is very dependent on the weather system because it is not allowed to weathervane. Severe wind and waves can cause excessive loads on the lines, making it not a suitable choice for harsh conditions. The Single Point mooring system (also known as Turret mooring system) uses the turrets to anchor the lines to the hull. This design allows for minimal ship motions, which in turn eases the offloading process and increases crew comfort.

The adaptation to wave and wind conditions through the 360 degree weathervaning allows this system to be used in harsh conditions. In regions where typhoons or ice are common the system can be disconnected and the vessel moved until conditions improve. The process is very quick and easy which is necessary in the case of a fast approaching storm. There is also a process used in ultra-deep water called Dynamic Positioning (DP). This is used when the water is extremely deep and mooring is not a realistic option to fix the vessels position. The computer receives information from sensors and maintains the position by using the vessels propellers and thrusters. This provides a less costly method for deep water fields.

Figure 4. The Mooring System in the Connected and Disconnected State

Figure 5. Schematic of Dynamic Positioning System

2.1.5 Vessel Size and Variety The size of the hull for FPSO depends mainly on whether it was a tanker conversion or purpose built vessel. A double hull is a method where the ship has two layers of water tight hull surface while the single only has one. Due to tanker requirements most of the conversions are of the single hull variety while the new builds are double hull. The double hull decreases the stability of the vessel, but is also is less likely to experience an oil spill. The vessel size ranges from the largest FPSO, the Kizomba, with dimensions measuring 935 feet long, 207 feet wide, and 105 feet high to the smallest, the Crystal Ocean, only 450 feet long. 2.1.6 Product Type Another important factor to consider is the product that will be collected and processed from the subsea wells. There are three main types of processing units: oil, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), and liquid natural gas (LNG). The oil unit separates oil, gas and water from the well and passes along the oil for the production phase while returning treated water back to the reservoir. The water is returned to maintain the pressure in the well. The LPG FPSO is complete with onboard liquid petroleum gas processing and exporting facilities. The LNG FPSO is similar to the oil FPSO except it separates the natural gas (primarily methane and ethane) to produce LNG to store and then offload. These three types will be discussed more in depth in the applications portion of the paper. 2.1.7 Environment Of all the topics, the environment is the most influential on the overall design of the FPSO. These vessels operate all over the world in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, off the African coast, and various other locations. No two sea conditions are exactly the same. The weather conditions, wave height, wind strength, water depth, and well availability will all vary with each location and even within each location. Vessels that operate in the North Sea must be very apt to the rough conditions present there, as opposed to the Gulf of Mexico where the significant wave height is considerably lower. This requires the FPSO to be very adaptable to all conditions and to account for the harshest environments. 2.2 FPSO Topsides The topside unit of the FPSO is where the processing equipment is located. Once the product is brought up through the riser, it undergoes a series of processes on the top of the vessel to prepare the product to be offloaded. Because the topside unit is so complex, it is often contracted to other companies to create a custom unit, or module, for the specific vessels needs. Generally, there are four categories of modules; separation, compression, processing, and generation, and then a massive utilities system as well. The contracting for each module is very competitive and many companies from all over the world will partake in the final build. The modules are built by each of the winning bidders and then all brought to the shipyard where the hull is held. They are then installed and connected to each other by the expansive utilities system. 2.2.1 Separation The separation modules are normally generically built and serve a large range of operational requirements. The main purpose is to separate the slurry into oil, gas, and sand. These are three part separators and are

common in most drilling operations. The separation modules are housed near the bow of the boat, because they are one of the first processes that take place, so it is near the risers and mooring system. 2.2.2 Compression The compression system serves mainly to pressurize the transport lines and to combine the output of all of the wellheads that the FPSO is servicing. These systems normally are very similar to compression modules on platforms, so they have been engineered to be very efficient and relatively cheap to systems that have to be custom designed. In some systems that rely more heavily on subsea infrastructure, some of the compression manifolds will be at the sea floor, but the majority of the manifolds and pressurization systems are topside. 2.2.3 Processing The processing system is composed of various modules that each have specific and very crucial tasks. Processing includes gas treatment, water treatment, water injection, chemical injection, flare, and drain systems. The gas treatment is a very general term describing a lot of the processes that the oil will go through in order to bring it to export quality. Water injection injects water back into the well in order to increase pressure. Chemical injection can be used for many purposes, one being a change in the properties of the fluid so that it is much less corrosive to the piping. The flare system burns off excess and unsalvageable gas. The drain systems store or drain the waste products in their respective locations. All of these smaller modules in series provide for the most complex system on the vessel. 2.2.4 Generation The generation module is the power plant for the vessel. In order to supply the incredible power needs of the boat and all of the systems on board, there needs to be a large main generation facility and multiple backup generators for emergency situations. Most FPSOs use gas turbine generators and diesel generators because of their efficiency and durability on hard seas. 2.2.5 Utilities The utilities system is overarching term for the infrastructure of the vessel. The many transport pipelines, fluid regulators, storage systems, control systems and many other small systems on board. The utilities are spread all across the ship and connect all of the modules together.

Figure 6. Layout of a Topside System

Chapter III Applications

3.1 Oil FPSOs An FPSO can produce, store, and offload oil through pipelines or to tankers, depending on the ocean depth. In order to produce oil, there are a series of processes that must be completed before oil can be stored on the vessel. The first step in the process involves tapping the subsea production wells and transferring the oil, gas, and water mixture through flowlines. The mixture travels through the flowlines up to the risers, through the turrets, and then is transported to the first stage separator, also known as the Production Separator. The Production Separator involves separating the oil, gas, and water into different phases. The oil is then heated and transported to the second stage separator to fully separate water and oil by using the Desalter and Dehydrator. Once the water, oil, and gas are fully separated the oil is cooled in order to safely flow to the cargo tanks for storage. Depending on the water depth of the FPSO, the oil can either travel through pipelines to shore or may be stored in the vessel and offloaded onto tankers upon arrival. For those FPSOs in marginal locations; oil must be offloaded onto tankers since pipelines are not considered an economical option due to the amount of steel needed to build the lines. Considering the fact the oil must be stored for an unknown period of time, FPSOs must have a large capacity for oil. Typically, the storage capacity is related to the size of vessel; therefore, the larger the vessel the larger amount of storage. Also, larger units will have a larger production rate, since they have a higher capacity for oil. Considering

the current fleet of FPSOs, capacity ranges from, as little as, 47,000 bbl to, as much as, 2,000,000 bbl. Many years ago, average-sized FPSOs could only produce a maximum of 60,000 barrels of oil per day (b/d). Since then technology has improved so greatly that the new maximum production rate is 200,000 b/d, and has been exceeded by FPSO Norne. As before pertaining to storage capacity, the larger the vessel the more oil it can produce per day, and vice versa. 3.1.1 Oil FPSO Girrasol In December of 2001, Girrasol, the largest FPSO at the time, was put into production off the shore of Angola in the Gulf of Guinea. Girrasol currently has a total of 39 wells, 18 of which are used purely for production; therefore, it can produce 250,000 barrels of oil per day. With a total length of 300 meters, a width of 60 meters, and a height of 31 meters, this FPSO can easily store 2,000,000 barrels of oil until the tanker arrives to offload the oil. During construction this FPSO took thousands of men and women around the world to complete certain aspects of the vessel. Due to the amount of people working on the project it was completed after a mere three and a half years. To this day, Girassol continues as one of the largest FPSOs in the world and has increased its production rate to 240,000 barrels per day. 3.2 LNG FPSOs A LNG FPSO is designed to process, liquefy, store, and offload liquid natural gas. This can all be done out on the water near the gas field in use. This is the newest application of FPSO vessels and is still very early in the development phase. There arent currently any LNG FPSOs in operation but this is unlikely to be the case for much longer with the first vessel of this variety expected to come into operation by 2017. This is a rapidly growing variety of FPSOs with an estimated twenty billion dollars spent on new projects during the years 2010-2016. There are many advantages to LNG FPSO as opposed to transporting the liquefied natural gas to a production facility onshore. With an LNG FPSO the vessel is able to access stranded gas fields and enable gas development, liquefaction, and exporting all at the field itself. The construction costs are greatly reduced and can take place in a controlled environment such as a shipyard. With the onshore activity reduced there is also less strain on the environment and less interaction with surrounding communities. Pipelines do not need to be laid to transport the product and jetties do not need to be constructed for the onshore plant. The natural gas is primarily liquid methane: a colorless, odorless, light, hydrocarbon fuel that goes through the same basic processes oil or liquid petroleum gas undergoes in production. Moving the production of this product to offshore facilities presents demanding challenges. The motion of the waves combined with the sloshing of the partially filled tanks must be taken into account when trying to maintain the vessels equilibrium. 3.2.1 LNG FPSO Shell Prelude The Prelude FLNG has been under construction since 2011 and is expected to operate in the Browse Basin off the coast of Australia. This vessel is owned and operated by Shell and will be one of the first vessels of its kind. The Prelude will be 1600 feet long and 242 feet wide and at peak production it is expected to deliver 3.6 million tons of LNG per year. Typically gas fields need more than 5

trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas in order to construct offshore platforms, pipelines, and process plants. Because the oil fields Converto and Prelude, only contain 2 to 3 Tcf of recoverable gas, the Prelude FLNG is a more viable option. The facility will be able to chill the natural gas to minus 162 degrees centigrade and the volume will be shrunk 600 times so it can be shipped on LNG carriers.

Figure 7. Shell Prelude FLNG 3.3 LPG FPSOs Another specific type of FPSO includes the LPG floating storage vessel. LPG stands for liquefied petroleum gas, and within the LPG FPSO, processing and storage facilities are created to deal with the liquefied petroleum gas. By use of distillation, refrigeration, and depressurization these hulls are able to separate the LPG into butane and propane to be later exported and sold for profit for the companies, as well as providing a consistent source of energy for the worlds energy consumption. 3.3.1 LPG FPSO Sanha The first LPG FPSO created was the Sanha LPG FPSO located in offshore Cabinda in West Africa. The floating vessel stands in water depths between 75200m, and is connected to a purpose built FPSO just 30 miles away in the Sanha Field. The FPSO is significant in that fact that it is the largest hull to combine storage and processing facilities on board for liquefied petroleum gas. Within the design of the LPG vessel, a remote flare jacket and process compression installation is included. The FPSO also consists of living quarters for workers to manage and maintain the structure, and a drilling platform to drill for the liquefied petroleum gas. The process which takes place upon the FPSO is split into different parts that all come together to produce the LPG. Gas refrigerators, gas separators, and boil-off gas reliquefaction units are all needed to have the LPG FPSO run smoothly. The first step is to take the LPG taken from the two platforms that produced the mixed LPG and separate the gas into butane and propane. Once this step is completed, gas refrigerators will be used to chill the butane and propane gas separately to then be moved to storage tanks where the separated gas will be kept. The process of moving each to onshore is done by LPG export tankers, and this procedure is typically a slow maneuver. Once

everything is exported, the butane and propane can be used for delivery and sale to companies. The project for the Sanha FPSO came to a projected estimate around 1.4 billion dollars. This is a large amount of money for a company to come up with for such a project, yet the amount the company put into the project is given back as compensation and much more. On average, the Sanha and surrounding Bomboco field produces around 100,000 barrels per day; therefore, the LPG FPSO proves to be a successful and rewarding project for the company. Being able to combine processing and storage facilities into one vessel, makes for one successful engineering design.

Figure 8. LPG FPSO Sanha

Figure 9. LPG Cooling and Reliquefaction

Chapter IV Economics
4.1 FPSOs take Precedence over Offshore Oil drilled offshore today accounts for nearly a third of the oil drilled worldwide. The increase in offshore drilling and steady switch from land to ocean is due to the many advances in technology and engineering designs. FPSOs have made the drill for oil possible and are considered leaders in offshore drilling. Compared to that of fixed platforms, these floating platforms have made the exploitation of oil offshore more cost effective for various companies while also producing oil needed within a more timely manner. Many fixed platforms are deemed uneconomic for oil companies because more time and money are put into these structures and a lesser profit is received; therefore,


FPSOs provide a different outlet for companies. These tankers prove to be a leading power within offshore drilling, and the future market for these structures seems nothing more than promising. 4.2 Oil Production Economics Analysis of oil and gas production shows that this is a very cost demanding expenditure for companies. With knowledge about exploration and development however, corporations are available to make profits from this industry group. What one puts into a project they are likely to get out; therefore, companies must invest large amounts of money at each position of a project in order to produce a rewarding outcome. Corporations expect their initial investments to be compensated for in the production of the oil as well as raised above the initial amount they spent to make profits that help continue their companys progress. The costs of producing an oil field can be divided into three main categories; exploration, development, and operating expenses. Exploration expenditures include receiving a license to ensure one is able to explore and produce oil in a specific area, seismic graphs to represent areas best suited for development and production of oil, and also set up of exploration wells to drill and determine if the area will produce the desired return of oil. Once an area of drilling has been determined companies place their money into development of design. A team is typically hired to design the structure as well as install sub-sea infrastructures to withstand the water and winds forces offshore. Production wells are also drilled in this stage and management and engineering of the area begins. Once the structure is completed and begins to produce oil, companies enter into the third category of costs. Operating expenses include maintenance to the up-keeping of the structure and any damage done to the platform and rig. Personnel, consumables, and services the company must provide fall within this category. Most companies when reviewing whether or not a project would be cost effective to the company will often times make a DCF, otherwise known as a Discounted Cash Flow Model, as well as an IRR, Internal Rate of Return, and an NPV, Net Present Value to determine if they should continue with their investment. 4.3 Cost Breakdown Every new project that is started requires a breakdown of the costs and benefits that must be identified. A cost is something that reduces an objective, while a benefit progresses the objective. The problem with this in cost breakdown is that projects have multiple objectives. There is always a main objective to produce the most cost-effective platform for the company and increase the corporations net income however. A cost breakdown was done for both a ship-shape and a square shape using an 8-line mooring system to provide a general range of price accounting for just the design of an FPSO. Many factors, such as a larger mooring system, will impact the price range, but this breakdown gives a detailed view of the general idea.


Table 1. Cost Breakdown Each project is broken down into sections of topside parts, hull parts, mooring line systems, offloading costs, transportation/installation, and cut for engineering project management. As stated, there are many designs which an FPSO can be created, but based off of these two tables one is able to identify that a Ship Shape 8 Line Mooring system is projected to cost 372 million while a Square Shape 8 Line Mooring system is projected to cost 447 million, around a hundred million dollar increase. 4.4 Leasing vs. Owning Companies are faced with questions whether to own their own FPSO or to lease one. Each provides its own advantages and disadvantages, but to date most companies will lease an FPSO rather than directly own and manage their own. In the case of leasing an FPSO, there are many advantages for the oil companies. There is much less risk involved, for if an FPSO does not run and produce as needed the loss is not all placed on the oil company and can only take so much away from the company as stated in the contract. All other losses are placed upon the oil/FPSo contractor. The contractor is also responsible for the build and design of the FPSO; therefore, oil companies benefit in this aspect that they do not have to provide large amounts of sufficient funds to create and piece together the floating platforms. Smaller companies are more likely to benefit from a leasing contract rather than own their own because they do not have the money or workers to build and keep up with such a large structure. Larger companies on the other hand are required to manage their FPSO and hold repsonsibility over management, but there is still much less risk involved in having a leasing contract. If the company still wishes to lease, oil companies are available to purchase the FPSO in their leasing contract allowing them to have more leverage upon what happens to their money and the FPSO.


Three leading FPSO contractors include SBM, Modec, and BWO. These companies are in charge of leasing FPSOs to oil companies, and below is a table demonstrating FPSOs leased by the leading company SBM. The data represents that about half of the companies exercised their ability to extend, and the average time period for extension of an FPSO leasing contract was around 2.9 years.

Table 2. FPSO Leasing Details 4.5 Market Correlation between Offshore Products and the Oil Industry FPSOs are platforms that all in all drill, store, distribute, and deliver oil. Apparent in the two graphs below one can see the positive correlation between the oil industry and these offshore structures such as FPSOs. The first graph represents the global spending amounts made by the United States, Canada, and outside of North America regarding oil. In 1995 it is apparent that just under 200 billion dollars is regarding the oil indsutry. Just two years ago, 2011, this number has increased to numbers of about 500 billion dollars. This is more than a 100% percent increase in the amount spent, and the graph on the left helps explain in part why there was a sudden increase. The second graph shows global oil production onshore and offshore. Onshore oil production acts alone and increases rapidly between the years of 1930 to 1965. After this year production flattens out to a more steady rate as offshore drilling is introduced. As the use of offshore structures increases into 2021 the gloabal spending is expected to remain unchanged and present similar trends.

Figure 10. Global Spending in Canada vs. US vs. Outside North America (left) Global Oil Production Onshore and Offshore (right)


Chapter V Conclusion
Floating production, storage, and offloading vessels have many advantages over other offshore structures in processing and storing oil. With the excessive demand for oil worldwide, these vessels have provided an option which is both beneficial in the amount of time it takes to process the oil as well as being a cost effective alternative for companies. The secret to success for the FPSO is the ability to process and store oil before being required to send to tankers to be sent to the mainland. Their simplicity is well noted by companies and seen as an economic plus to many.


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