BP’s FPSO Tortue; Courtesy of BP

Africa-bound FPSO going to BP’s massive gas project next quarter

A floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel destined for the biggest project in BP’s portfolio is slated to embark on its journey toward the project site in the second quarter of 2024, in a bid to reach its final destination off the coasts of Mauritania and Senegal on schedule to achieve first gas in the third quarter of 2024.

BP’s FPSO Tortue; Courtesy of BP

BP is continuing to make progress on the development of its Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project, which envisions the production of gas from an ultra-deepwater subsea system and mid-water floating production, storage, and offloading vessel that will process the gas, removing heavier hydrocarbon components. The gas will then be transferred to a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility.

The FPSO Tortue began its journey to the GTA project on January 20, 2023, from Qidong, China, upon completion of a series of sea trials following construction at Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry over three and half years. The vessel is currently in a shipyard in Tenerife for inspection and repair of the fairleads, according to BP’s partner, Kosmos Energy.

The completion of this work and transit to the project site is expected early in the second quarter ahead of final hookup and commissioning. Upon production start-up, the FPSO will process around 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day with eight processing and production modules. 

The majority of the gas will be liquefied by the FLNG facilities, enabling export to international markets, while some will be allocated to help meet growing demand in the two host countries. The GTA development’s first phase is set to produce around 2.3 million tons of LNG per year.

On the other hand, condensate will be periodically transferred from the FPSO to shuttle tankers for export to the market. The FPSO, which will sit in about 120 meters of water, will have up to 140 people on board during normal operation and serve as a home for the project’s production team.

With an area equivalent to two football fields, the FPSO is made of more than 81,000 tons of steel, 37,000 meters of pipe spools, and 1.52 million meters of cable. Allseas’ vessels were executing the subsea pipelay scope at the GTA project and significant progress was made on the installation of the infield flowlines and subsea structures.

Related Article

The work re-commenced in the fourth quarter with completion expected at the end of the second quarter of 2024. BP drilled and completed all four wells with an expected production capacity significantly higher than what is required for the first gas. The construction work for the hub terminal is complete, with the handover to operations being completed in August 2023.

Golar LNG’s FLNG Gimi, which will work on the GTA project, departed Singapore’s Seatrium shipyard on November 19, 2023, and the vessel arrived on location offshore Mauritania/Senegal in the first quarter of 2024. Hookup work is now underway. The vessel was converted from a 1976-built Moss LNG carrier to a floating LNG production unit.

Emil Ismayilov, BP’s Senior Vice President, Mauritania and Senegal, recently outlined: “The successful and safe arrival of the FLNG vessel is another step forward for GTA Phase 1 and is testament to our team and partners’ commitment to safely delivering this project.

“The people behind the project have delivered through many challenges, including the pandemic, to orchestrate a major feat of engineering. We are fully focused on safely completing the project and beginning a new energy chapter in Mauritania and Senegal.”

This unit is designed to provide circa 2.5 million tons of LNG per annum on average, with the total gas resources in the field estimated to be around 15 trillion cubic feet. The FLNG Gimi is said to be at the heart of the GTA Phase 1 development, operated by BP with partners, Kosmos Energy, Petrosen, and SMH.

Related Article

“The critical path to first gas, expected in the third quarter of 2024, continues to be through the arrival, hookup and commissioning of the FPSO. Timely execution of this workstream is expected to allow for first LNG in the fourth quarter,” explained Kosmos.

With wells located in water depths of up to 2,850 m, BP is adamant that the GTA Phase 1 development has the deepest subsea infrastructure in Africa. The multibillion-dollar investment has been granted the status of National Project of Strategic Importance by the Presidents of both Mauritania and Senegal.