Addressing delegates at the recent Floating Production and Storage Systems Conference in London, John Westwood, Managing Director of industry analysts Douglas-Westwood stated that their data projects a total of 26 FPSO redeployments for the 2004-2008 period – 28% of the 92 FPSO prospects for the period. FPSOs are the world’s most popular floating production system. As of year-end 2003, there had been 136 FPSO deployments worldwide – more than all the other floating production systems (FPSSs, TLPs and Spars) put together. There are currently 89 FPSOs in operation and as the fields they are working on are depleted the vessels become available for redeployment.
Unlike the fixed platform, the ability to redeploy an FPSO means that its capital cost can be amortised over the life of several small fields, transforming the field economics and in many instances making FPSOs the production system of choice. However, it is rare for all projects to go ahead and project start-up is often delayed. Also in a period of very high oil prices it is more likely for existing contracts to be extended as oil companies retain FPSOs on depleting fields to ‘scrape the barrel’.
Douglas-Westwood FPSO data analyst Georgie MacFarlan stated “The Asia region is expected to see the highest number of redeployments, with eight units forecast for the period to 2008, compared to just one redeployed unit in the previous five-year period. “The World Floating Production Report”, compiled by Douglas-Westwood, identifies marginal field developments as one of four key drivers for the floating production system market and it is this type of development that is expected to underlie much of the demand for redeployments.