Number of Planned Floating Production Projects Rises

The number of future floating production projects in the bidding or planning stage grew to 233 projects a year ago, up from 141 projects five years ago and 94 projects a decade ago, according to a recent study by Washington, D.C.-based International Maritime Associates Inc. (IMA).

Potential deepwater projects should grow significantly over the rest of the decade, said Jim McCaul, head of IMA, in a July 31 press statement. According to IMA’s recent report, the global floating production sector has been particularly active in recent months, with 10 production floaters ordered since March 2013, including a record $3 billion floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel order for Total S.A.’s Egina project in Nigeria and two $1.8 billion FPSOs leasing deals announced for Brazil by SBM Offshore for Petroleo Brasiliero S.A.’s Lula Central and Lula Alto fields.

Other floating production contract activity seen in recent months include Chevron Corp.’s Rosebank FPSO in the Shetland Islands, Total S.A.’s Moho Nord production barge offshore the Congo in West Africa and Royal Dutch Shell plc’s Stones FPSO in the central U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

“Oil demand keeps growing, the futures market points to $90+ oil through the decade, deepwater drill contractors are running at full load and 90+ additional drillships/semis are scheduled for delivery over the next few years,” McCaul noted. “These new drill units will increase deepwater drill capability by 30 percent and remove a bottleneck that has constrained exploration and development in deepwater.”

Seventy-two production floaters comprise the current order backlog worldwide.

These floaters include:

  • 40 FPSOs,
  • six production semisubmersibles,
  • five tension leg platforms,
  • four floating liquefied natural gas vessels and
  • 12 floating storage and regasification units

The delivery of this equipment will boost the world’s production floater inventory by 27 percent.


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


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