Nine months from explosion, FPSO still moored off Brazil

BW Offshore’s Cidade de São Mateus FPSO, hit by an explosion offshore Brazil in February in which nine workers died, is still moored at the field, and the recovery project is still ongoing.

This was revealed by the Norwegian FPSO owner this week in its quarterly update. According to BW Offshore’s third quarter update, the Cidade de São Mateus FPSO has been freed from gas and condensate has been offloaded.

The FPSO is moored in the Espirito Santo basin and hasn’t produced hydrocarbons for more than nine months now since the tragic event.

Next step, BW Offshore said, is to disconnect the risers and mooring lines so that the FPSO can be towed to a yard for repairs.

“As the unit is still at the field, it has been challenging to get access to make an accurate assessment of the damages, and consequentially also to decide the book value to be impaired. This impairment charge will be booked as soon as a reliable estimate can be made,” the company said.

During third quarter 2015, the company recorded an impairment of $75 million to reflect losses related to non-recoverable costs as well as direct damages to the FPSO Cidade de São Mateus. The company recognised the same amount, $75 million, in insurance revenue for the Cidade de São Mateus FPSO.

In the explosion that occurred on Wednesday, February 11, around 12:50 local time, eight Brazilians and one Indian worker died.

Petrobras, for which the vessel had been operating since June 2009 in the post-salt of the Camarupim and Camarupim Norte fields, in June issued a report on the causes of the explosion.

The oil company then said that the factors that led to the incident had been breaches of fluid pumping operating procedures, the installation of a piece of equipment (racket) in a pipe without the proper technical specifications and alteration registration, and safety procedure violations.

BW Offshore has excluded the FPSO from its fleet average uptime report until the unit restarts operations after the repair project. The company, which operates seventeen floating units, did not say when the repairs might be completed, nor when the unit might go back to production.

Under the original contract, the FPSO is expected to stay with the Brazilian oil company until 2018, with a possibility for an extension until 2024.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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