Brazil: ABB Controls Production Systems Aboard FPSO Peregrino

ABB Controls Production Systems Aboard FPSO Peregrino

FPSO Peregrino is one of the biggest and most technologically advanced oil production ships in the world.

Converted at a cost of more than $1 billion, the vessel receives, processes and stores high viscosity oil from the ultra-deep Peregrino oil field off the coast of Brazil. The entire production process – from reservoir to wellhead platforms to vessel – is powered and controlled by ABB electrical and multi-system control solutions.

Recently acquired by the Statoil group, FPSO Peregrino was converted from a very large crude carrier (VLCC) to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel at a cost of more than $1 billion. Completed in April 2011, the conversion took three years and was at that time the biggest investment in a single vessel ever made by A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, the then owner.

FPSO Peregrino has a daily production capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil, 350,000 barrels of liquid and 7.3 million standard cubic feet of gas. It has a storage capacity of 1.6 million barrels of oil, equivalent to 16 days of round-the-clock production.

The topside consists of two identical production trains and 15 modules for crude oil separation, water treatment, chemical injection, metering, power generation, power distribution, power and process control, and accommodation for 100 staff.

FPSO Peregrino is permanently docked at the Peregrino oil field, which is operated by Statoil and lies 85 kilometers off the coast of Brazil. There, the vessel receives, processes and stores high viscosity oil, which is pumped from the reservoir via two wellhead platforms located 5 km from the vessel.

This is oil recovery and processing at its most difficult. The oil is located 2,300 meters below the seabed and is so thick that it cannot flow without first being artificially lifted by submersible pumps in the wells and then heated in the flowlines to give it the required flow properties.

The mixture of oil, gas, water and sand that arrives at the ship has to be separated and cleaned. This is performed in the topside separation unit, where the fluid is heated, separated and stored in heated tanks to prevent it from solidifying until it is offloaded onto tankers.

ABB’s involvement in the design, engineering and conversion of FPSO Peregrino is extensive. Maersk FPSOs, the original owner, selected ABB as its partner in the bidding process for the FPSO contract, and retained ABB as the main automation and main electrical contractor (MAC/MEC) when the contract was won.

On the electrical side, ABB supplied a complete power distribution solution for the entire production process. The solution comprises a vast array of ABB low- and medium-voltage products and systems that distribute power efficiently, reliably and safely throughout the FPSO and the two wellhead platforms, all the way down to the electric submersible pumps in the production wells below the seabed.

On the automation side, ABB provided a fully integrated multi-system solution including field instrumentation. The solution includes a process control system, power management system, production information management system, condition monitoring system, fire and gas system, and emergency shutdown system – all fully integrated within the same System 800xA Extended Automation platform and operating environment.

Each system is operated from a System 800xA Extended Operator Workplace (EOW-x) control room in a topside module onboard the FPSO. The solution includes two 800xA Simulators, which provide realistic and safe process simulation.

The Peregrino oil field was named one of the ‘top five offshore projects’ for 2011 by Offshore magazine for ‘best use of innovation in production method, application of technology, and resolution of challenges, along with safety, environmental protection, and project execution.’


Source: ABB, August 20, 2012; Image: maerskpress