SBM Offshore made good progress in 2014 to enable the industry in its development of hydrocarbon reservoirs located in deeper and harsher environments.

2014 equally saw SBM Offshore honored with an OTC Spotlight on New Technology award for its swivel technology – the fourth such award in four years – prestigious accolades that endorse the company’s position as a technology leader in the offshore industry and that demonstrate that SBM’s innovation is successfully bridging the technology gaps identified with our clients.

PERFORMANCE AT A GLANCE

During 2014 SBM Offshore focused on enhancing its market-leading position in complex floating production systems, and their associated mooring systems. The Company continued to identify key technology trends in the offshore oil & gas market, prioritising development work to address gaps in key areas of demand and offer cost effective field development solutions to clients.


The growth in the FPSO market is creating technology challenges and SBM has been continually evolving the leased production vessels that it provides to the oil and gas industry. It is with the deepwater and pre-salt FPSOs for Brazil that SBM is seeing a major step-change in the scale and complexity of its latest flagship FPSO projects, a trend likely to be continued for pre-salt Angola. Although Angola has yet to see a pre-salt FPSO in operation, the potential is there and SBM technology and experience can be leveraged to meet the country’s future needs.

Achieving first oil in November 2014, FPSO Cidade de Ilhabela is now operating offshore Brazil in the pre-salt fields. It is SBM’s second pre-salt vessel and breaks records by being the company’s largest and the deepest at 2,140m. FPSO Cidade de Paraty – SBM’s first pre-salt FPSO also in Brazil – celebrated a milestone with its first year in operation in June 2014.

Spotlight

Technology highlights in 2014 included the completion and start-up of FPSO Cidade de Ilhabela – the Company’s most complex and deepest vessel – and completing the design for the most complex turret for the Stones Project, which has moved into the construction phase.

Technology highlights in 2014 included the completion and start-up of FPSO Cidade de Ilhabela – the Company’s most complex and deepest vessel (pictured above) – and completing the design for the most complex turret for the Stones Project, which has moved into the construction phase (pictured here left).

 

A STEP UP IN FPSO TECHNOLOGY

These two high-capacity FPSOs – converted for Brazil’s prolific pre-salt region – have launched SBM firmly into a new generation of industry requirements and longer durations – Cidade de Ilhabela is on a 20-year lease and operate contract.

Ilhabela is the company’s biggest FPSO with over 22,000 tonnes in topsides to accommodate the state-of-the-art processing modules necessary for these complex and deepwater reservoirs. This reflects the leap in terms of complexity compared to earlier versions engineered by SBM. What particularly marks them as a new league of vessel is the increase in production rate to be handled (Ilhabela has a capacity of 150,000 bpd of oil) and the far greater level of sophisticated gas processing and compression technology they carry. SBM’s technology advances also inherently improve safety, efficiency and performance.

DEEP, DEEPER AND INDUSTRY’S DEEPEST

In line with market trends for deep- water exploration, SBM Offshore has been developing technology to meet the challenges of the key regions of

West Africa, the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil. In particular targeting the harsh Gulf of Mexico environment, having identified several technology gaps SBM is now making significant progress to provide solutions. The result is FPSO Turritella for the Shell Stones development, which when in operation in 2016 will be the world’s deepest floating production unit and only the second FPSO to exploit the High Pressure/High Temperature (HP/HT) Lower Tertiary reservoirs.

GAS PROCESSING UNITS – FLNG

2014 has seen a significant acceleration in the number of FLNG prospects emerging in the market. In tandem with this demand the Company’s solution for offshore gas monetisation, known as the Twin HullTM, is gaining momentum. Further development and extensive model basin tests took place in 2014.

With a design capacity of 1.5 to 2.0 million tonnes per annum, SBM’s mid-scale solution enables a highly economical approach for exploiting small and medium sized offshore gas fields, with faster delivery and lower investment than required for other concepts currently on the market.

“SBM is fully aware of the importance of renewable energy and is pursuing several R&D programmes for alternative energy. In 2014 there was a step change in technology for the capture of wave energy, which is deemed to be the most important source of marine renewable energy but the most difficult to capture.”