First oil for Turritella

SBM Offshore is pleased to announce that Turritella, the FPSO it designed for the Stones project in the US Gulf Of Mexico, has achieved first oil.

Engineered and constructed by SBM Offshore, the FPSO’s design represents several major achievements, while removing previous barriers in the industry. The FPSO is a showcase for SBM Offshore’s expertise – it combines innovation and new uses of existing technologies to increase productivity, efficiency and safety levels for the FPSO. It cements SBM Offshore’s reputation in the FPSO market and highlights over 60 years of mooring systems experience behind this turret.


“SBM Offshore is honored to play its part in Shell’s project. Turritella is an excellent example of the world-class EPCI to which SBM aspires. Our clients can rely on our vast experience to deliver the desired results and to advance their projects on time and on budget. We are delighted to announce that Turritella is now producing and unlocking oil production in these ultra-deep waters,” says CEO Bruno Chabas.

The Turritella FPSO is a prime example of the safety and quality to which SBM Offshore is committed and it illustrates how a team effort – client, contractor, fabrication subcontractors and vendors together – can achieve excellent HSSE results. With a vision from the outset for ‘No Harm to People, Environment or Assets’ and a mindset of working safely one day at the time, the Stones project achieved 22 million man-hours with only 1 Lost Time Incident.



Turritella turret mooring system_Cutaway view

Turritella turret mooring system_Cutaway view

Editors notes

 1. At 2,900 metres (9,500 feet), it is the deepest production unit ever installed and the first disconnectable system with steel lazy-wave risers to go into use.


2. FPSO technological details

The converted Suezmax FPSO has a turret with a disconnectable buoy (Buoyant Turret Mooring or BTM) allowing it to weathervane in normal conditions and to safely disconnect from the FPSO upon the approach of a hurricane.


  • The FPSO uses new technology for the riser configuration with the design of this system featuring Steel Lazy-Wave Risers (SLWR). It is the first time this type of riser is being used in a disconnectable production unit. As a consequence of this combination of water depth and steel risers, the buoy has the biggest displacement for a buoy ever built to date.


  • An innovative feature developed for this project is the possibility to readjust each mooring line tension without any device installed on the FPSO. It pioneers the use of an In-line Mooring Connector (ILMC), which gives direct access to the mooring line for re-tension purposes. This feature allows more flexibility when the need arises to adjust the tension of mooring lines, even during the early phase of the system installation.



The FPSO is a typical SBM Generation 2 design with a processing facility capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and 15 mmscf/d of gas treatment and export.  No water injection facilities are specified.  The Suezmax hull will be able to store 800,000 barrels of crude oil.


3. FPSO Turritella is the first project awarded to SBM Offshore as part of the Enterprise Framework Agreement (EFA), signed by SBM Offshore and Shell in March 2012, for the supply of medium and small FPSOs on a lease and operate basis.

Contracts with Shell Offshore Inc. are to supply and lease the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for the Stones project in the Gulf of Mexico.  The contracts include an initial period of 10 years with future extension options up to a total of 20 years.  The FPSO is owned by a joint venture company comprising SBM Offshore (55%), Mitsubishi Corporation (30%) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) (15%).