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Number of Floating Production Projects Planned Keeps Growing

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Number of Floating Production Projects Planned Keeps Growing

The number of floating production projects planned worldwide continues to grow, with 233 projects planned as of July 2012, up from 196 projects in July 2011 and the 122 projects planned five years ago, according to a recent report by the International Maritime Associates (IMA) on floating production systems.

Brazil tops the list of nations with planned floating production projects at 55, followed by Southeast Asia with 46 projects and 44 planned projects in Africa.

Other major locations for planned floating production projects include:

  • Gulf of Mexico – 24 projects
  • Northwest Europe – 17 projects
  • Australia – 14 projects
  • Mediterranean – 11 projects
  • Southwest Asia/India – 9 projects.

While the number of planned floating production projects continues to grow, not all of the projects will materialize as some discoveries prove non-commercial to develop or others are nominated as tiebacks or joint developments, IMA reported.

"We have not seen much change in plans as a result of recent oil price swings," said IMA founder Jim McCaul. "The current and expected price environment is adequate to support going ahead with most of the projects in the pipeline."

"Maybe some smaller projects in Southeast Asia are more sensitive to price than larger projects elsewhere," McCaul told Rigzone. "But again we have not seen much reaction to the recent downturn in prices."

Seventy-four production floaters currently are on order, 40 percent more than the backlog seen a year ago and more than double the mid-2009 backlog, according to the report.

The backlog lists includes:

  • 49 floating production storage and offloading vessels
  • 6 production semis
  • 3 tension leg platforms
  • 4 spars
  • 3 floating liquefied natural gas vessels
  • 9 floating storage and regasification units.

Brazil still dominates orders for production floaters, with 28 units, or 38 percent of the backlog, being constructed for use offshore Brazil.

The shortage of deepwater drilling rigs has presented a major bottleneck to deepwater development. That constraint has now been removed with 52 drillships and 17 semisubmersibles now on order. These additional rigs are expected to boost global drilling rig capability by 18 percent over the next two years.

"Deepwater rig activity is an excellent predictor of future demand in the floating production sector," said Jim McCaul, head of the International Maritime Associates, noting that more rigs will generate more discoveries, accelerating future floating production system requirements.



Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com.

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