Altera picks DOF for FPSO and FSO installation campaign at Eni’s African oil & gas project

UK-based energy services provider Altera Infrastructure has hired DOF Group, a Norwegian vessel owner, to install a cylindrical floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel and a floating storage unit (FSO) at Eni’s oil and gas development offshore Côte d’Ivoire, Africa.

AH Skandi Skansen; Source: DOF Group

Altera Infrastructure secured 15-year contracts in October 2023 for the redeployment of the FPSO Voyageur Spirit and the Nordic Brasilia shuttle tanker, which was expected to be converted into an FSO. The UK company has now awarded DOF a contract to install the FPSO and FSO at Eni’s Baleine Phase 2 project located off the coast of Côte d’Ivoire.

Under the terms of the deal, the Norwegian firm will be in charge of the complete installation of seabed mooring systems, flowline between FSO and FPSO, and associated equipment, as its contract scope includes project management, engineering, transportation, installation, and hook-up of floating units in the field.

DOF plans to mobilize its 2011-built Skandi Skansen anchor handling vessel for the project, which is expected to take more than 130 vessel days. The project management and engineering are slated to begin immediately from the Norwegian vessel owner’s offices in Bergen, Norway, and Aberdeen, Scotland. On the other hand, the offshore operations are planned to start in Q3 2024.

Mons S. Aase, CEO of DOF Group, commented: “This award recognizes DOF’s solid performance within installation of floating units. We look forward to executing the project safely and successfully.”

Currently, the FPSO Voyageur Spirit and the 2004-built Nordic Brasilia vessel are undergoing life extension work and field-specific modifications at Drydocks World in Dubai. The 2008-built FPSO with a dead weight of 45,145 t previously operated on the Huntington field in the North Sea until 2020. This vessel, which has a length of 70 m and a breadth of 65 m, was at Kishorn Port and dry dock from July 2020 until April 2023.

The Baleine East 1X well was drilled using the Saipem 12000 drillship. The well reached its final depth of 3,165 m, in a water depth of about 1,150 m. Eni started production from the Baleine field at the end of August 2023, less than two years after the discovery in September 2021 and less than a year and a half after the final investment decision (FID) was made.

This came after the FPSO Firenze – renamed Baleine upon its mooring – sailed away from Dubai in April 2023 to the Baleine field in Côte d’Ivoire. This FPSO has been refurbished and upgraded to increase its processing capacity up to 15,000 bbl/d of oil and around 25 mmcf/d of associated gas. The Baleine field extends over blocks CI-101 and CI-802.

The start of Phase 2, which is expected by the end of 2024, will increase field production to 50,000 bbl/d of oil and approximately 70 mscf/d of associated gas. The third development phase aims to elevate field production to 150,000 bbl/d of oil and 200 mscf/d of gas.