Photo: The VLCC set to be converted into an FPSO for Sangomar project. Photo source: Woodside

Cosco starts conversion work for Woodside’s Sangomar FPSO

Chinese shipyard Cosco Shipping Heavy has started working on a conversion of a very large crude carrier (VLCC) into floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for the Woodside-operated Sangomar project located offshore Senegal.

Woodside informed on Wednesday that the VLCC had arrived at the COSCO shipyard in Dalian, China in mid-February to undergo a metamorphosis into the FPSO vessel for the Sangomar field.

The 323m-long vessel arrived following a 4000 km-plus journey from Batam in Indonesia.

The conversion will take around two years, Woodside said.

Shipyard Manager, Paul Moscardini, who has mobilised to China to oversee the conversion, said: “Our Woodside team based at the Dalian shipyard is looking forward to working with our contractor, MODEC, and getting to know the facility”.

To remind, in January 2020, MODEC signed a contract with Woodside to supply an FPSO vessel for the Sangomar field development Phase 1 project located in the Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Offshore Deep oil blocks.

Come December 2020 and MODEC signed a contract with Woodside for the operations and maintenance of the FPSO vessel for the Sangomar project.

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Woodside also said on Wednesday that, by the time it berthed in Dalian, the vessel had been named FPSO Léopold Sédar Senghor after Senegal’s first president from 1960 to 1980.

Before it departed Indonesia for China the vessel had to be cleaned of residual hydrocarbons, and its tank bulkhead thickness inspected to confirm the hull’s structural integrity and aid development of the refurbishment scope.

Other shipyards in China will be used to complete the work necessary for the vessel’s conversion to an FPSO and Woodside workers will be working in four yards.

In parallel, Woodside has mobilised an engineering and project management team to MODEC’s office in Singapore.

The Sangomar field, containing both oil and gas, is located 100 km south of Dakar, Senegal’s capital, and will be the country’s first offshore oil development.

First oil production from the FPSO Léopold Sédar Senghor is targeted in 2023, with the Sangomar Field Development Phase 1 targeting approximately 230 million barrels of crude oil, at an initial peak rate of 100,000 Bbls /day.

SOFEC has already cut the first steel for the turret mooring system being built for the Sangomar FPSO.

In related news, Russia’s Lukoil will not be proceeding with its previous plans to take over Australia’s FAR Limited and enter the Woodside-operated Sangomar project.