ABS to Class Pilot FPSO for Tupi Field Offshore Brazil

American Bureau of Shipping

ABS has been selected to class the pilot floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO) for the Tupi field in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil. It will be the first permanent FPSO to operate in the Tupi area for Petrobras. Ultimately several FPSOs are planned for the field.

The FPSO will be a conversion from the very large crude carrier (VLCC) M/V Sunrise IV into the FPSO Cidade de Angra dos Reis MV22. The FPSO, to be supplied and operated by MODEC, will feature a spread mooring system and will be installed in 7,054 ft. of water depth. The unit is expected to be installed late 2010.

ABS has decades of experience within the FPSO market, both conversions and with newbuilds. More than 50 FPSO units are in ABS class worldwide.

The FPSO will initially gather production from five subsea wells with the capability to handle four additional production wells in the future.

Classification for an FPSO includes: review and approval of the design for compliance with ABS Rules; survey of fabrication components in the field to facilitate compliance with ABS Rules; survey of the offshore hook-up and commissioning to ready for first oil.

A fully classed unit includes review and acceptance of the: hull structure, mooring systems and foundations, production, utility and safety systems. ABS can also certify the subsea components, including risers, flowlines and umbilicals.

ABS continues to see a high level of interest and activity in the FPSO market. Ship-shaped FPSO vessels remain a strong option for field developments, says ABS Brazil Country Manager Joao Carlos Pacheco. Industry projects are calling for a sustained level of contracting for FPSO units. The fleet is expected to grow from 136 to 161 units in 2008 with forward high-low projections varying between an additional 106 and 126 units in the next five years.