Ships passing in the bay – twin FPSOs switch places at Rio yard

Having arrived mid-July at BRASA shipyard, FPSO Cidade de Maricá will depart shortly from the quayside to offshore Brazil, where the high-capacity vessel will be installed and operated for the next 20 years. A symbol of Brazil’s successful pre-salt production, Maricá will join the increasing ranks of FPSOs which contribute to the production of the country’s oil and gas. SBM Offshore is contributing to this goal and has a double cause for celebration this December with FPSO Cidade de Maricá’s milestone and the arrival of her twin sister ship FPSO Cidade de Saquarema – currently waiting in Rio´s Guanabara Bay to take her turn at SBM Offshore’s Niteroi-Rio based joint-venture yard by year end.

Unique event in Rio – SBM Offshore’s twin FPSOs pass in Guanabara Bay as Cidade de Maricá departs from and Cidade de Saquarema arrives at Brasa shipyard

Unique event in Rio – SBM Offshore’s twin FPSOs pass in Guanabara Bay as Cidade de Maricá departs from and Cidade de Saquarema arrives at Brasa shipyard


FPSO Cidade de Saquarema arrived in Brazilian waters early November, following her 57-day and 10,738 Nm (approximately 20,000 Km) voyage from China, where conversion of the two vessels’ hulls took place. The module lifting campaign will begin immediately once Cidade de Saquarema is safely berthed at BRASA. Integration of the modules fabricated in Brazil will be followed by final commissioning before setting sail in 2016 to join Cidade de Maricá on Lula field at the Santos Basin.

FPSO Cidade de Maricá and FPSO Cidade de Saquarema will bring SBM Offshore’s Brazilian operating fleet to a total of seven vessels by mid-2016. Both vessels are carbon-copies, designed and being constructed from the blueprint of the mothership FPSO Cidade de Ilhabela, which started production November 24, 2014. FPSO Cidade de Ilhabela is currently the deepest in SBM Offshore’s operating fleet at 2,140m and has the largest throughput capacity at 150,000 bpd of oil per day and the twins will have the same capacity.

SBM Offshore Chief Operating Officer Philippe Barril commented: “We are happy with the progress to date on FPSOs Cidade de Saquarema and Cidade de Maricá and we look forward to the delivery of the FPSOs to our client Petrobras. We expect them to follow in the footsteps of their mother ship FPSO Cidade de Ilhabela, which has been successfully producing offshore Brazil for just over one year and is an example of the world-class standards to which SBM Offshore aspires.”

Project Director John Perkins says “The departure and arrival of the two FPSOs represent newsworthy milestones for SBM Offshore and a further step on the road to delivery. It demonstrates SBM Offshore’s effective global project management for our conversions, which is being jointly conducted from our Regional Centers in Brazil, the Netherlands and Monaco. The Company is very proud to welcome Cidade de Saquarema to the quayside for the final integration of her modules and the team is ready for the next lifting campaign using the Pelicano-1 barge crane, which has already proven the quality work that can be achieved here in Brazil on the previous lifting campaigns for FPSOs Cidade de Maricá and Cidade de Ilhabela.”

SBM Offshore Managing Director Brazil, Oliver Kassam, comments on the successful project to date: “Highly challenging and fast-track, this project illustrates how solid planning and repeatability – leveraging past experience and a proven design – can yield the desired results.  The Brazilian execution scope of these types of complex projects can be a challenge, however the results achieved together with our joint-venture company BRASA, prove that it can be done safely, efficiently and on schedule.”


Editor’s notes

FPSO Cidade de Maricá and FPSO Cidade de Saquarema

The FPSOs are being converted in parallel and are both destined for the Lula field in the pre-salt province offshore Brazil. BM-S-11 block is under concession to a consortium comprised of PETROBRAS (65%), BG E&P Brasil Ltda. (25%), and Petrogal Brasil S.A. (10%). g. Delivery of the vessels to client Petrobras is scheduled for first quarter and second quarter 2016, respectively. SBM Offshore’s contract with BM-S-11 subsidiary Tupi BV is for the twenty-year charter and operation of the two FPSOs.

The FPSOs are owned and operated by a joint venture owned by affiliated companies of SBM Offshore (56%), Mitsubishi Corporation (20%), Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (19%), and Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás S.A. (5%).

The twin FPSOs benefit from the technological expertise that SBM Offshore acquired during the design, conversion and operational experience of pre-salt FPSOs Cidade de Ilhabela and Cidade de Paraty, both  producing oil and gas at the pre-salt offshore Brazil.

Both FPSO projects have generated significant economic impacts, direct and indirect, to Rio de Janeiro State, Niteroi in particular, illustrating SBM Offshore´s commitment to local development. BRASA shipyard successfully delivered modules for both FPSOs and generated substantial economic gain and opportunities for the country, with high-skilled direct and indirect positions in excess of 30,000 jobs.

BRASA shipyard

Developed in 50:50 partnership between SBM Offshore and Synergy Energy, the fabrication shipyard Estaleiro Brasa has been operating since 2012 when construction for FPSO Cidade de Ilhabela’s modules commenced. The yard was set up in Niteroi, just across the bay from downtown Rio, dedicated to SBM Offshore’s own needs, while also serving the needs of the Brazilian oil and gas industry at large.

BRASA is now a successful, state-of-the-art fabrication shipyard with highly qualified Brazilian nationals employed and represents a success story in SBM Offshore’s sustainable development strategy in Brazil. The yard’s capacity and trained workers are the result of a major investment over the past four years by SBM and its partner Synergy.

BRASA Business Acquisition Manager Rodrigo Gomes says “The BRASA team’s valiant effort this last year has paid off, ensuring all modules were completed in time for arrival of the two vessels at the yard’s. Our focus now is to begin integration and commissioning for the third FPSO which will berth at BRASA. Activities in 2015 prove our capabilities for tackling large complex FPSO projects dedicated to pre-salt safety and to the highest standards with our dedicated and disciplined team.”