New 15-year deals enable Altera to redeploy FPSO and shuttle tanker at Eni’s African oil & gas project

UK-based energy services provider Altera Infrastructure has secured contracts for the redeployment of a cylindrical floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel and a shuttle tanker, which will be converted into an FSO. Both of these vessels will work at Eni’s oil and gas development offshore Côte d’Ivoire, Africa.

FPSO Voyageur Spirit; Source: Altera Infrastructure

According to Altera Infrastructure, the awarded contracts are for the redeployment of the FPSO Voyageur Spirit and the Nordic Brasilia shuttle tanker to be converted into an FSO. With a 15-year firm contract, both vessels will work at Eni’s Baleine Phase 2 project located offshore Côte d’Ivoire, which is expected to be fast-tracked with a planned start-up date in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Currently, the FPSO Voyageur Spirit and the 2004-built Nordic Brasilia vessel are undergoing life extension work and field-specific modifications at Drydocks World in Dubai. The 2008-built FPSO with a dead weight of 45,145 t previously operated on the Huntington field in the North Sea until 2020. This vessel, which has a length of 70 m and a breadth of 65 m, was at Kishorn Port and dry dock from July 2020 until April 2023.

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Altera explains that the Nordic Brasilia shuttle tanker will be converted into an FSO to provide additional storage capacity to the FPSO. The company will own and operate both vessels. The UK firm highlights that the development of the Baleine project is Africa’s first net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions project.

Chris Brett, President of Altera Infrastructure Production, commented: “Securing contracts in a promising region like Côte d’Ivoire is a significant acknowledgment of Altera’s capability in delivering complex projects on a fast-track timeline. This is now our second contract award in short succession based on the redeployment of an existing FPSO and demonstrates that redeployments are some of the fastest, most cost-effective and emissions-friendly ways for our customers to develop their projects in the current market.”

The Baleine East 1X well was drilled using the Saipem 12000 drillship. The well reached its final depth of 3,165 m measured depth, in a water depth of about 1,150 m. Eni started production from the Baleine field at the end of August 2023, less than two years after the discovery in September 2021 and less than a year and a half after the final investment decision (FID) was made.

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The Baleine field extends over blocks CI-101 and CI-802. In April 2023, the FPSO Firenze – renamed Baleine upon its mooring – sailed away from Dubai to the Baleine field in Côte d’Ivoire. This FPSO has been refurbished and upgraded to increase its processing capacity up to 15,000 bbl/d of oil and around 25 mmcf/d of associated gas.

The start of Phase 2, which is expected by the end of 2024, will increase field production to 50,000 bbl/d of oil and approximately 70 mscf/d of associated gas. The third development phase aims to elevate field production to 150,000 bbl/d of oil and 200 mscf/d of gas.