Xin Guang Hua vessel transporting FPSO destined to work at Liuhua oilfield; Source: COSCO SHIPPING Heavy Transport

Asia’s first cylindrical FPSO coming to work on Chinese oilfield

The loading operation of a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is said to be independently designed and built by China as Asia’s first cylindrical FPSO, has been wrapped up by a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel. This unit will be deployed at an oilfield off the coast of China, which is operated by the country’s energy giant, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

Xin Guang Hua vessel transporting FPSO destined to work at Liuhua oilfield; Source: COSCO SHIPPING Heavy Transport

CNOOC reported a few days ago that the construction of Asia’s first cylindrical FPSO, Haikui No. 1 (Anemone No. 1), was completed on April 26 in Qingdao, marking a breakthrough in the modernization of the country’s deepwater oil and gas equipment. This feat is perceived to be of great significance in promoting the development of China’s offshore oil and gas fields. The FPSO was built by CNOOC’s subsidiary, Qingdao CNOOC Offshore Engineering.

With a maximum diameter of about 90 meters, the FPSO Hai Kui No. 1 consists of a hull and upper functional modules while the main deck area is said to be equivalent to 3.5 standard football fields. While the vessel can work in water depths of 324 meters, it comes with a maximum design displacement of about 100,000 tons, an oil storage capacity of 60,000 tons, and the ability to process approximately 5,600 tons of crude oil per day.

CNOOC claims that this FPSO has been designed to adapt to the complex and harsh sea conditions in the South China Sea and produce oil and gas safely and stably. The vessel is destined to serve together with – what is seen as – Asia’s first deepwater jacket platform, Haiji No. 2, at the Liuhua 11-1/4-1 oilfield, as part of the revitalization efforts undertaken at old deepwater oil fields, contributing new value to ensure China’s energy security.

According to COSCO SHIPPING Heavy Transport, the Xin Guang Hua vessel has completed the loading operation of the FPSO Liuhua in Qingdao, China. With a total weight of 37,000 tons, this vessel can process around 5,600 tons of crude oil per day in the Pearl River Mouth Basin. The CNOOC-operated Liuhua oilfield lies in water depths of up to 430 meters in the South China Sea.

“It will be a great boost to the development of Liuhua oilfield in the future. Thanks to everyone involved in the safe and successful loading operation, and we wish the crew fair winds and following seas,” highlighted COSCO SHIPPING Heavy Transport.

China has taken several steps to boost its energy security. To this end, the country fortified further its bond with Qatar in the energy sector, after the Persian Gulf state’s LNG supplies reached almost 17 million tons in 2023. Qatar was also one of the Chinese market’s major suppliers of crude oil with 8.6 million tons last year.

Two of China’s national energy companies joined Qatar’s North Field Expansion projects as partners in 2023, with Sinopec acquiring a 1.25% interest in the North Field East (NFE) project and a 1.875% interest in the North Field South (NFS) project, while at the same time signing 27-year LNG sales and purchase agreements for a total of seven million tons per annum.

On the other hand, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has acquired a 1.25% interest in the North Field East project and signed a 27-year LNG sales and purchase agreement for four million tons per annum. Earlier this month, CNOOC started gas production from a project in the Bohai Sea, bolstering China’s energy security.