Floating production storage and offloading

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FPSO Mystras at work off the shore of Nigeria
FPSO Crystal Ocean moored at the Port of Melbourne
The circular FPSO Sevan Voyageur moored at Nymo yard at Eydehavn, Norway.

A floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit is a floating vessel used by the offshore oil and gas industry for the production and processing of hydrocarbons, and for the storage of oil. An FPSO vessel is designed to receive hydrocarbons produced by itself or from nearby platforms or subsea template, process them, and store oil until it can be offloaded onto a tanker or, less frequently, 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). There are also under construction (as at 2013) floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessels, which will extract and liquefy natural gas on board.


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. Today, over 200 vessels are deployed worldwide as oil FPSOs.

On July 29, 2009, Shell and Samsung announced an agreement to build up to 10 LNG FPSOs:[1]

Flex LNG has four contracts for smaller units at the same yard.[2]

On May 20, 2011, Royal Dutch Shell announced the planned development of a floating liquefied natural gas facility (FLNG), which will be situated 200 km off the coast of Western Australia and is due for completion in around 2017.[3] 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.[4] It will have a total storage capacity of 436,000 cubic metres of LNG, plus LPG condensate.

On June 2012, Petronas signed the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning contract for the project with the Technip and DSME consortium.[5] The unit is destined for the Kanowit gas field off Sarawak, Malaysia. It is expected to be the World's First Floating Liquefaction Unit in operation when completed in 2015.[6]

At the opposite (discharge and regasification) end of the LNG chain, the first ever conversion of an 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.[7]


FPSO diagram

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.[citation needed]


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 processing facility to an onshore terminal. This can provide an economically attractive solution for smaller oil fields which can be exhausted in a few years and do not justify the expense of installing a pipeline. Furthermore, once the field is depleted, the FPSO can be moved to a new location.[citation needed]

Specific types[edit]

A floating storage and offloading unit (FSO) is essentially a simplified FPSO without the capability for oil or gas processing. Most FSOs are converted single hull supertankers. An example is Knock Nevis, ex Seawise Giant, for many years the world's largest ship, which has been converted to an FSO for use offshore. The vessel was sold to Indian ship breakers, and renamed Mont for her final journey in December 2009. After clearing Indian customs, she was sailed to, and intentionally beached at Alang, Gujarat, India for demolition.

At the other end of the LNG logistics chain, where the natural gas is brought back to ambient temperature and pressure, specially modified ships may also be used as floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs). A LNG floating storage and regasification unit receives liquefied natural gas (LNG) from offloading LNG carriers, and the onboard regasification system provides natural gas exported to shore through risers and pipelines.

Royal Dutch Shell (2013) - LNG FPSO (Liquefied Natural Gas Floating production Storage and Offloading) - Samsung Heavy Industry - $2–5 Billion.[clarification needed]



FPSO Firenze moored at Hellenic Shipyards, 2007

The FPSO operating in the deepest waters is the FPSO BW Pioneer, built and operated by BW Offshore on behalf of Petrobras Americas INC. The FPSO is moored at a depth of 2,600 m in Block 249 Walker Ridge in the US Gulf of Mexico and is rated for 80,000 bbl/d (13,000 m3/d). The EPCI contract was awarded in October 2007, and production started in early 2012. The FPSO conversion was carried out at Keppel Shipyard Tuas in Singapore, while the topsides were fabricated in modules at various international vendor locations. The FPSO has a disconnectable turret (APL). The vessel can disconnect in advance of hurricanes and reconnect with minimal down time.[citation needed] A contract for an FPSO to operate in even deeper waters (2,900 m) for Shell's Stones field in the US Gulf of Mexico was awarded to SBM Offshore in July 2013.[8]

One of 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).[9]

The first FSO in the Gulf of Mexico, The FSO Ta'Kuntah, has been in operation since August 1998. The FSO, owned and operated by MODEC, is under a service agreement with PEMEX Exploration and Production. The FSO Ta'Kuntah was installed as part of the Cantarell Field Development. The field is located in the Bay of Campeche, offshore Mexico's Yucatán 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 bbl/d (130,000 m3/d) with no allowance for downtime.[10]

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 19,000,000 cubic metres per day (670,000,000 cu ft/d) of gas and 13,500 cubic metres per day (480,000 cu ft/d) of oil.[11] 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.[12] The hull is an Aker Solutions proprietary "Tentechtm975" design.[13] 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.[14] 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.[12]

Current FPSOs[edit]

As of November 2013, there were 277 Floating Production Units in use around the world, of which 62% were FPSOs.[15]

FPSO Vessel NameOilfieldCurrent LocationField OperatorNewbuild or
Vessel Designer
Cendor Phase 2 FPSOCendor fieldPM304, South China Sea, Peninsular MalaysiaE&P O&M Services Sdn Bhd, EPOMSConversion2014MISC / E&P O&M Services Sdn Bhd EPOMS
Abo FPSOAboGulf of Guinea, NigeriaAgipConversion2003BW Offshore
Abu FSOAbu ClusterSouth China Sea, Peninsular MalaysiaPetronas CarigaliConversion2005MISC/FPSO Ventures
Agbami FPSONigeria Star Deep Water PetroleumNewbuild2008Chevron
Akpo FPSOAkpoGulf of Guinea, NigeriaTotalNewbuild2009Total
Al Zaafarana FPSOWardaGulf of Suez, EgyptAker SolutionsConversion1994Gemsa Petroleum Co
Anasuria FPSOTeal, Teal South, Guillemot ANorth Sea, UKShellNewbuild1996 
Anoa NatunaAnoa Field, Natuna SeaIndonesiaPremier Oil 1990Premier Oil,KN, Natuna Sea BV
Angsi FSOAngsiSouth China Sea, Peninsular MalaysiaTalismanConversion2005MISC/FPSO Ventures
Aoka MizuEttrickNorth Sea, UKNexen 2009Bluewater Energy Services
Arco Ardjuna FSOArdjuna Oil FieldWest Java Sea, IndonesiaPertamina Hulu Energy 1973Pertamina
Armada PerkasaOkoro SetuNigeriaAfren/AMNIConversion2009Bumi Armada Berhad
Armada PerdanaOyoNigeriaAllied Energy/Agip2010Bumi Armada Berhad
Aseng FPSOAsengEquatorial GuineaJV (SBM Offshore/GEPetrol)Conversion2011SBM Offshore
Åsgard AÅsgardNorth Sea, NorwayStatoilNewbuild1999 
Azurite FDPSOAzuriteAtlantic, Republic of the CongoMurphy Oil2009BW Offshore
Baobab Ivoirien MV10 FPSOBaobab FieldCôte d'IvoireCNR International S.A.R.L.2005MODEC
BelanakBelanak FieldSouth Natuna Sea, IndonesiaConocoPhillips2004KBR / J. Ray McDermott
Berge HeleneChinguettiNorth Atlantic Ocean, MauretaniaWoodside Petroleum2006[citation needed]BW Offshore
Bleo HolmRoss, Blake, ParryNorth Sea, UKTalisman Sinopec1999[citation needed]Bluewater Energy Services
Bohai Ming Zhu FPSOPenglai19-3, ChinaBohai, ChinaConocoPhillips2003[citation needed]CNOOC
Bonga FPSOBongaGulf of Guinea, NigeriaShell2005[citation needed]Samsung Heavy Industries
Brasil FPSORoncadorCampos Basin, BrazilPetrobras2002[citation needed]SBM Offshore
Bunga Kertas FPSONorth Lukut & PenaraSouth China Sea, Peninsular MalaysiaPetronas Carigali2004[citation needed]DPS/FPSO Ventures
Capixaba FPSOGolfinhoEspírito Santo Basin, BrazilPetrobrasConversion2006[citation needed]SBM Offshore
Captain FPSOCaptainNorth Sea, UKChevronNewbuild1996[citation needed] 
Cendor FSOCendorSouth China Sea, Peninsular MalaysiaPetrofacConversion2006[citation needed]MISC/FPSO Ventures
Cidade de NiteroiJabuti, BrazilSantos Basin, BrazilMODEC (for Petrobras)Conversion2009[citation needed]MODEC
Cidade do Rio de Janeiro MV14 FPSOEspadarte Sul FieldCampos Basin, BrazilMODEC [for [Petrobras]]Conversion2007[citation needed]MODEC
Cidade de Vitoria FPSOGolfinho IIEspírito Santo Basin, BrazilPetrobrasConversion2007Saipem
Cuulong MV9 FPSOSu Tu Den FieldVietnamCuulong Joint Operating Company (CLJOC)Newbuild2003MODEC
Dalia FPSOBlock 17, Dalia OilfieldSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaTotalNewbuild2006Total
Dhirubhai 1MA-D6Bay of Bengal, IndiaReliance Industries LimitedConversion2008AFP
ErhaOPL 209Gulf of Benin, NigeriaExxonMobilNewbuild2006Saipem[16] 
Espadarte FPSOEspadarteCampos Basin, BrazilPetrobrasConversion2000SBM Offshore
Espirito Santo BC-10 FPSOParque das Conchas (BC10)Campos Basin, BrazilShell AmericasConversion2009SBM Offshore MISC Bhd
Espoir IvorienEspoirGulf of Guinea, Côte d'IvoireCNRConversion2002Prosafe
Falcon FPSOCurrently noneJohor River, MalaysiaExxonMobilConversion SBM Offshore
FarwahAl-JurfMediterranean, LibyaTotal 2003 
Fluminense FPSO [17]Bijupira, SalemaAtlantic, BrazilShellConversion2003Modec
Four VanguardWoollybuttIndian Ocean, AustraliaENIConversion2003Premuda
Frade FPSOFradeCampos Basin, BrazilSBM OffshoreConversion2009SBM Offshore
Gimboa FPSOGimboaSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaSonangolConversion2009Saipem
Girassol FPSOBlock 17, Girassol, Jasmine & Rosa[18] OilfiledsSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaTotalNewbuild2001Total
Glas DowrJPDATimor SeaENINewbuild2003Bluewater Energy Services
Global Producer IIIDumbartonNorth Sea, UKMaerskNewbuild2006Maersk
Greater Plutonio FPSOBlock 18 Greater PlutonioSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaBPNewbuild2007BP
Griffin Venture FPSOGriffin, Chinook, ScindianIndian Ocean, AustraliaBHP BillitonNewbuild1994 
Gryphon FPSOGryphonNorth Sea, UKMaersk 1993 
Hæwene Brim FPSOPierceNorth Sea, UKShellNewbuild1999Bluewater Energy Services
Jasmine Venture MV7 FPSOJasmine FieldThailandPEARL Energy Pte Ltd.Conversion2004MODEC
Jotun AJotunNorth Sea, NorwayExxonMobilNewbuild1999Bluewater Energy Services
Kakap Natuna FPSOKakap KH fieldIndonesiaConocoPhillips(Kakap) Ltd.Conversion1986MODEC
KikehKikehSabah, MalaysiaMurphy OilConversion2007SBM Offshore MISC Bhd
Kizomba AHungo, ChocalhoSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaExxonMobilNewbuild2004SBM Offshore
Kizomba BKissanje, DikanzaSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaExxonMobilNewbuild2005SBM Offshore
Kuito FPSOKuitoCabinda, AngolaChevronConversion1999SBM Offshore
"Kwame Nkrumah" FPSOJubilee FieldsGulf of Guinea, GhanaTullow Oil & OthersConversion2010MODEC Inc.
North Sea Producer[19]MacCullochNorth Sea, UKConocoPhillipsConversion1997Maersk
Maersk CurlewCurlewNorth Sea, UKShellConversion2002Maersk[19]
Marlim Sul FPSOMarlim SulCampos Basin, BrazilPetrobrasConversion2004SBM Offshore
MODEC Venture 11 FPSOMutineer-Exeter FieldAustraliaSantos Ltd.Conversion2005MODEC
Mondo FPSOBlock 15South Atlantic Ocean, AngolaExxonMobilConversion2008SBM Offshore
MuninLufeng, XijiangSouth China Sea, ChinaCNOOCNewbuild1997Bluewater Energy Services
MV8 Langsa Venture FPSOLangsa fieldMalacca Strait, IndonesiaMEDCO MOECO Langsa Ltd.Conversion2001MODEC
Mystras FPSOOkono, OkpohoGulf of Guinea, NigeriaAgipConversion2004Saipem
Nganhurra FPSOEnfieldExmouth Sub-basin, AustraliaWoodside PetroleumNewbuild2006 
Maersk Ngujima-Yin FPSOVincentExmouth Sub-basin, AustraliaWoodside PetroleumConversion2008Maersk
Norne FPSONorneNorth Sea, NorwayStatoilNewbuild1997 
Northern EndeavourLaminaria, CorallinaTimor Sea, IndonesiaWoodside PetroleumNewbuild1999;Kvaerner/SBM;
OkhaCossack, WanaeaNorth West Shelf, AustraliaWoodside PetroleumConversion2011SBM Offshore/Woodside Petroleum
Pazflor FPSOPazflorSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaTotalNewbuild2011DSME
Perintis FPSOMASA fieldSouth China Sea, Peninsular MalaysiaPetronas CarigaliConversion1999Aker Kvaerner/M3Nergy
Petrojarl BanffBanffNorth Sea, UKCNRNewbuild1999Teekay Petrojarl
Petrojarl FoinavenFoinavenNorth Atlantic, UKBPConversion1997Teekay Petrojarl
Petrojarl IGlitne oilfieldNorth Sea, NorwayStatoilNewbuild2001Teekay Petrojarl
Petrojarl VargVargNorth Sea, NorwayTalisman EnergyNewbuild1999Teekay Petrojarl
Pertroleo Nautipa FPSOEtameSouth Atlantic Ocean, GabonVaalco EnergyConversion2002Yinson Production, Prosafe
Polvo FPSOPolvoSouth Atlantic Ocean, BrazilDevon EnergyConversion2007Prosafe
PSVM FPSOBlock 31 Plutao, Saturno, Venus, MarteSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaBPConversion2012MODEC/BP
Puteri Dulang FSODulang fieldSouth China Sea, Peninsular MalaysiaPetronas CarigaliConversionUnknownPetronas/FPSO Ventures
Pyrenees FPSORavensworth, Crosby, Stickle FieldsExmouth Sub-basin, AustraliaBHP Billiton PetroleumNewbuild2010BHP Billiton/MODEC
P-57 FPSOJubarte FieldCampos Basin, BrazilPetrobrasConversion2010SBM Offshore
Rang Dong 1Rang DongSouth China Sea, VietnamJVPC, Nippon OilConversion1998Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Raroa IIMaariTasman Sea, New ZealandOMVConversion2008 
Ruby Princess FPSORubySouth China Sea, VietnamPetrovietnamConversion1998Prosafe
Ruby II FPSORubySouth China Sea, VietnamPetronas Carigali Vietnam LtdConversion2010MISC Bhd
Sanha LPG FPSOAngola ChevronNewbuild2005SBM Offshore / Chevron
Saxi-Batuque FPSOLuanda, AngolaBlock 15, AngolaExxonMobilConversion2008SBM Offshore
Schiehallion FPSOSchiehallionNorth Atlantic, UKBPNewbuild1998Harland & Wolff
Sea Eagle FPSOEAGulf of Guinea, NigeriaShellNewbuild2003Samsung Heavy Industries
SeaRose FPSOWhite RoseGrand Banks of Newfoundland, CanadaHusky EnergyNewbuild2005Samsung Heavy Industries
Seillean FPSOCachaloteEsprito Santo Basin, BrazilPetrobras, but built for BPNewbuild1986Noble Corporation
Serpentina FPSOZafiroGulf of Guinea, Equatorial GuineaExxonmobilConversion2003SBM Offshore
Skarv FPSOSkarv and IdunNorth Sea, NorwayBPNewbuild2011BP
Song Doc MV19 FPSOSong Doc FieldVietnamTruong Son Joint Operating Company (TSJOC)Conversion2008MODEC
Stybarrow MV16 FPSOStybarrow FieldExmouth Sub-basin, AustraliaBHP Billiton PetroleumNewbuild2007MODEC
Terra NovaTerra NovaGrand Banks of Newfoundland, CanadaSuncorNewbuild2002 
TritonBittern, Guillemot West, Guillemot NorthwestNorth Sea, UKDana Petroleum[20]Newbuild2000 
(EnQuest Producer (Former Uisge Gorm) FPSOAlma (Formerly Ardmore) Oil Field and Galia Tie-Backcurrently in Dock at OGN, Wallsend, United Kingdom, later North Sea, UKTBDConversion1995/2012 reconstructionEnQuest
Umuroa FPSOTuiTasman Sea, New ZealandAustralian Worldwide ExplorationConversion2007APS/Prosafe Production
Xikomba FPSOBlock 15, XikombaSouth Atlantic Ocean, AngolaExxonMobilConversion2003SBM Offshore
Yunus FSOBDR3MediterraneanSyriah & N.T.J. GroupConversion1998Syriah & NTJ Group
Yúum K'ak'náab FPSOKu-Maloob-Zaap fieldGulf of MexicoPEMEXConversion2007BW Offshore


  1. ^ http://www.platts.com/Oil/News/7093122.xml?src=Oilrssheadlines1
  2. ^ http://www.flexlng.com
  3. ^ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9ccaed4a-82ba-11e0-b97c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1NADgzzOH
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  6. ^ http://oedigital.com/component/k2/item/3760-petronas-kanowit-field-flng-facility-under-construction
  7. ^ "The world's first LNG Floating Storage and Regasification conversion". Skipsrevyen. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  8. ^ http://www.sbmoffshore.com/?press-release=sbm-offshore-awarded-contracts-to-provide-worlds-deepest-disconnectable-fpso-for-shell-stones-in-gulf-of-mexico
  9. ^ "Production grows in West Africa’s largest deepwater development" - The Lamp - Volume 86 Number 3 2004 - Exxon Mobil Corporation
  10. ^ http://www.modec.com/fps/fpso_fso/projects/cantarell.html
  11. ^ http://www.eon-ruhrgas-norge.com/cps/rde/xchg/SID-3F57EEE5-5B3326E4/er-norge/hs.xsl/2414.htm
  12. ^ a b "Skarv and Idun Fields, North Sea Northern, Norway" -
  13. ^ http://www.akersolutions.com/Internet/IndustriesAndServices/OilAndGas/FieldDevelopment/default.htm
  14. ^ %22Rigzone%22
  15. ^ "Available FPU count at all-time high". Offshore. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  16. ^ http://www.saipem.com/site/home/activities/ec-offshore/major-projects.html
  17. ^ http://www.modec.com/fps/fpso_fso/projects/bijupira.html
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ a b "Maersk FPSO Fleet Location" - Maersk FPSO's
  20. ^ http://www.dana-petroleum.com/Media-centre/Press-releases/2012/Triton/

External links[edit]