SBM pioneered the development of the FPSO, starting with supply of the mooring system for the first FPSO in 1976 (for Shell’s Castellon field in Spain) and providing the first leased FPSO in 1981 (the FPSO II, for Amoco’s Cadlao field in the Philippines).
Since that time we have been involved in over 40 FPSO projects worldwide. Our fleet of leased production vessels currently includes 11 FPSO vessels in operation, with a further 3 under construction and 1 on standby. To date we have accumulated over 140 years of FPSO operating experience, more than any other FPSO operator worldwide.
SBM Offshore has a unique strategy for FPSO execution, which leverages our huge FPSO experience. Using our global team of around 6,000 personnel, including over 1,500 engineers and designers, SBM typically designs, procures, manages construction, commissions, installs and operates our FPSOs using primarily our in-house resources. Our in-house strategy covers all areas of the FPSO design – hull, mooring s and topsides – making us unique in the FPSO industry. This complete in-house expertise minimises dependence on third party subcontractors, and so enables us to have consistency in our design, as well as a seamless feedback from fleet operations to new projects, so driving a powerful continuous improvement process.
Today, SBM Offshore focuses on projects where we can use our unrivalled FPSO experience and expertise to add value to the most difficult challenges in the industry. These currently include ultra deepwater where we are striving towards the 3000m goal, HP/HT fields using steel risers, sour fields with complex topsides processing needs, and high production rates. Some of our current projects require a combination of all the above, and can now exceed 20,000t of topsides weight and a total topsides shaft power demand of over 200 MW.
Moreover, we are constantly seeking new challenges of more complex process systems. Today, our development work includes enhanced FPSO products for LNG production, gas commercialisation using a compact Gas to Liquids process, and ultra heavy oil production. Moreover, in our laboratory in France we have developed pioneering swivel technology that continues to push the envelope of proprietary SBM swivel capabilities for ever more challenging conditions.
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