Photo: Bacalhau FPSO; Source: Equinor

First steel cut for Equinor’s giant Bacalhau FPSO topsides

Chinese shipyard BOMESC has cut the first steel for the topside modules for Equinor’s FPSO, which will operate on the Bacalhau field located in the pre-salt Santos Basin offshore Brazil.

According to BOMESC’s statement on Thursday 3 June 2021, Equinor and MODEC conducted the first steel cutting ceremony of the Bacalhau FPSO topside project on 1 June at the construction site of the port in BOMESC.

The representatives of the three parties witnessed this project milestone.

The event happened just as Equinor made the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the $8 billion worth Bacalhau project and days before MODEC officially confirmed a contract award with Equinor to deliver the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of the Bacalhau FPSO.

The FPSO will be one of the largest ever delivered to Brazil. It will have a production capacity of 220,000 barrels per day and two million barrels in storage capacity.

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The Bacalhau FPSO is the first phase of the Bacalhau field in Brazil’s pre-salt Santos Basin, acquired by Equinor. It will operate on blocks BM-S-8 and North Carcara in Brazil’s Santos Basin.

The development will consist of 19 subsea wells tied back to the FPSO located at the field. The FPSO is 364 meters long, 64 meters wide, and 33 meters deep, with a designed draft of 22.65 meters. BOMESC noted that it can withstand the once-in-a-century environmental conditions in Brazil’s local waters and is the world’s first gas-turbine closed-loop power generation system.

Currently, the first oil is planned for 2024 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related uncertainties, project plans may be adjusted in response to health and safety restrictions.

MODEC, as the FPSO contractor, will operate the vessel for the first year. After that, Equinor plans to operate the facilities until the end of the license period in 2053.

The FPSO will be the first application of MODEC’s “M350 Hull”, a next-generation newbuild hull for FPSOs, full double-hull design. It has been developed to accommodate larger topside and larger storage capacity than conventional VLCC tankers, with a longer design service life.