SBM Offshore to provide world’s deepest disconnectable FPSO for Shell Stones
BY MELANIE CRUTHIRDS, News Editor
ROTTERDAM -- SBM Offshore has signed contracts with Shell Offshore to supply and lease an FPSO for the Stones development project in the Gulf of Mexico. The contracts include an initial period of 10 years, with future extension options up to a total of 20 years. The Stones development is located in 2,896 m (9,500 ft) of water, approximately 320 km (200 mi) offshore Louisiana, in the Walker Ridge area. When installed, the Stones FPSO will be the deepest FPSO development in the world.
The converted Suezmax FPSO will have a turret with a disconnectable buoy (buoyant turret mooring or BTM), allowing it to weathervane in normal conditions and disconnect from the FPSO upon the approach of a hurricane. The BTM will be configured with steel lazy-wave risers, which will be a first application for a disconnectable FPSO. The mooring system will also incorporate the ability to adjust line tension during operations by use of an in-line mooring connector.
The FPSO is a typical second-generation design, with a processing facility capacity of 60,000 bopd, and 15 Mmscfd of gas treatment and export. No water injection facilities are specified. The Suezmax hull will be able to store 800,000 bbl of crude oil and total topsides weight will reach 7,000 t.
In March 2012, Shell and SBM signed an Enterprise Framework Agreement (EFA) for the supply of medium and small FPSOs, on a lease and operate basis. The Stones FPSO is the first Shell project to award contracts utilizing the EFA. SBM and Shell have been engaged in front-end development work for the Stones FPSO solution for the past two years. Execution work has already commenced in SBM’s Houston Execution Center, with early procurement and commitments underway.
The total asset value of the FPSO is approximately $ 1 billion.