Xin Guang Hua vessel; Source: COSCO Shipping Heavy Transport

Giant heavy lift vessel to cart Woodside’s new FPU to Gulf of Mexico

China-headquartered ocean-based heavy transport solutions provider COSCO Shipping & Guangzhou Salvage Heavy Transport (CSGS) has been put in charge of carrying a floating production unit (FPU) to its final destination in the Perdido basin in the Gulf of Mexico, where it will be deployed at Woodside’s deepwater oil project 30 km south of the Mexico-U.S. maritime border.

Xin Guang Hua vessel; Source: COSCO Shipping Heavy Transport

The contract enables CSGS to transport the FPU, which will be constructed by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea, to Woodside’s Trion project. Upon completion, the 44,000 mt FPU will be brought to the Gulf of Mexico onboard the 98,000 mt DWT Xin Guang Hua semi-submersible heavy lift vessel.

Josh Wilson, VP Commercial – COSCO Shipping Heavy Transport, which is responsible for the marketing, project management, and engineering of CSGS’s fleet of semi-submersible vessels, commented: “We are excited and thankful that Woodside Energy and Pemex have put their trust in us to safely transport and deliver the Trion FPU to Mexico.”

Following the final investment decision (FID) for the Trion project in June 2023, Woodside received a stamp of approval from the Mexican regulator, Comision Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH), in August 2023 for its field development plan (FDP).

The estimated total capital expenditure is $7.2 billion for the Trion project, which is described as the first deepwater development in Mexico at a water depth of 2,500 meters. With a production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day, the Trion FPU will be connected to a 950,000-barrel capacity floating storage and offloading (FSO) unit.

Located in a water depth of 2,500 m, approximately 180 km off the Mexican coastline and 30 km south of the Mexico-U.S. maritime border, the development will encompass 18 wells drilled in the initial phase, a total of 24 wells will be drilled over the life of the project.

Trion was discovered in 2012 by Pemex. After BHP Petroleum acquired an interest in 2017, the project became part of Woodside’s portfolio in 2022. Any gas not reinjected or used on the FPU will be delivered to the domestic natural gas network by a subsea gas pipeline.

Wood has been picked to deliver the detailed topsides design work for the FPU project over the next three years. HD Hyundai Heavy Industries also recently awarded a commissioning contract for the FPU to Houston-based Gate Energy. The Trion project’s first oil is slated for 2028.