Offshore Annual Backlog of Floating Production Systems at a Record High By James R. McCaul Orders for floating production systems are flowing at a one modification/redeployment of an existing unit. They record pace. Over the past 12 months, 39 production cover a wide spectrum of size and capex. At the high end floaters have been ordered - an average of more than three are $1 billion production floaters with 200,000 b/d+ oil units per month. This is processing plants - units We are forecasting orders for 119 to 149 such as Agbami and double the average ordering pace of the past 10 years. production floater orders over the next five Plutonio, being built for use The surge in orders is generoffshore Nigeria and Angola. ating a large inflow of work years. These orders will generate capital At the low end are $150 to for hull fabricators, topsides 300 million units fitted with expenditures of $47 to 60 billion engineering firms, mooring 20,000 to 50,000 b/d prosuppliers, process plant cessing plants designed for manufacturers, etc. In fact, the ordering pace has surged use on marginal fields. They include small units such as to the point of saturating the traditional supply base for Siri for use offshore Brazil, Maari for New Zealand and production floaters - creating longer lead times and draw- Chestnut for use in the North Sea. ing new players into the market. All eight of the production semis currently on order utilize purpose-built hulls. They also cover a wide range of size and capex. At the high end are heavy deckload proOrder Backlog Climbing Intake of 13 new orders over a four month period end- duction semis such as P 51 and P 52 being fabricated for ing mid-March more than offset the delivery of nine units use offshore Brazil, which support a 180,000 b/d oil produring the same period, raising backlog to 62 units. This cessing plant plus large gas plant. If ordered today, these backlog is the highest in the 30 year history of floating units would cost $1 billion or more. At the low end are production. Backlog, which began climbing in late 2005, light deckload units, such as the speculatively ordered has increased more than 75 percent over the past two OPTI-Ex, which has a 40,000 b/d oil processing plant and is expected to cost around $250 million. years. The two TLPs are purpose-built units for use in the Gulf of Mexico. The larger unit, Shenzi, is being fitted with Composition of Backlog The current backlog consists of 46 floating production capability to process 100,000 b/d oil. It is a Modec design storage and offloading vessels (FPSO), eight production and the hull is being fabricated in Korea. The smaller semis, two tension leg platforms (TLP), three production unit, Neptune, will have capability to process 50,000 b/d. spars, two production barges and a ship shape floating This is an Atlantia design, with the hull being fabricated production unit (FPU) without storage. It also includes on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Both are designed to operate in water depth of around 1,300 m. five floating storage/offloading vessels (FSO). The three production spars on order are also purposeIncluded among the FPSOs are 16 units utilizing purpose-built hulls, 29 units based on tanker conversions and built units and, like the other types of production floaters, www.seadiscovery.com Marine Technology Reporter 35
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