The Advantages of Using FPSOs in the Offshore Industry

An FPSO is a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading canal. The offshore oil and Gas industry use FPSO’s for processing and storage of oil and gas prior to either offloading it to a tanker, or being transported by a pipeline. An FPSO unit works in tandem with an oil/gas platform or a subsea template. It then processes and stores the oil/gas for offloading whenever it is required.

The main advantages come about when an FPSO is used in thorough water locations or in far away places. In these situations laying a pipeline is usually not cost effective, desirable, or already functional. Using an FPSO offshore is, consequently, a more functional and functional solution than the more traditional methods, and it’s cost effective too.

In short life oil fields, where installing expensive infrastructure is not a cost effective measure, FPSOs can offer an different. In situations like this the FPSO offshore is often the only real answer, especially if the location is far away and in thorough water where the installation of a stiff platform can not be justified.

FPSOs used in smaller oil or gas fields have the additional advantage of being able to be recycled. Once they are no longer needed in one location, they can simply lift their moorings and move off to another location to be used again. This has obvious advantages over fixed installations, which can be used again, but not as easily, or as cost effectively either.

Oil and gas are often found in areas that are not always peaceful or benign. For example, an area to the north of Australia is unprotected to the occasional violent cyclone that could easily cause immense damage to a canal. When there is abundant warning the FPSO can release its moorings and riser turret and be towed away, or steam under its own strength. When the danger is over, the FPSO can simply return and connect its riser turret again to once more receive oil or gas for production and storage.

Another area where danger lurks is offshore Canada where the danger isn’t cyclones but icebergs. Icebergs float according to currents and wind and are unpredictable, often large, and can cause a great deal of damage. An FPSO canal sitting offshore would stand little chance of surviving a collision with one, but it can move away whenever an iceberg threatens. stiff platform installations cannot do this and are, consequently, potentially more unprotected.

An FPSO canal has another advantage over fixed installations in that it doesn’t have to be a purpose built structure. It can easily be a converted tanker that has served its useful life as a transport canal; again reducing costs and recycling an existing structure.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Offshore assets will last a long time if they are maintained properly – tanks can be effectively cleaned and maintenance programmes carried out using water jetting/water cutting to clean away sludge and other contaminants. A good programme of tank cleaning and maintenance will ensure the FPSO has a long and useful life.

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