FPSO Bacalhau; Source: Equinor

WATCH: FPSO leaves Chinese shipyard after 32 months

Norwegian state-owned oil and gas giant Equinor has disclosed video footage, showing a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which will work on its field offshore Brazil, leaving a Chinese shipyard, following 32 months of work.

FPSO Bacalhau; Source: Equinor

Equinor’s video shows the FPSO Bacalhau hull leaving the Dalian Shipbuilding (DSIC) shipyard in China. This comes over a month after Dalian Shipbuilding revealed that the FPSO Bacalhau was officially delivered on 26 May 2023, as the seventh new FPSO built by the Chinese player. 

Equinor made the final investment decision (FID) for the $8 billion worth Bacalhau project in June 2021. A few days later, MODEC officially confirmed a contract award with Equinor to deliver the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of the FPSO Bacalhau.

The official contract was based on a sales and purchase agreement (SPA) for the FPSO which was signed between Equinor and MODEC in January 2020. As explained when the first steel for the FPSO was cut by Chinese shipyard BOMESC, the vessel marks the first application of MODEC’s M350 Hull, a next-generation newbuild hull for FPSOs.

It has been developed to accommodate larger topside and larger storage capacity than conventional VLCC tankers, with a longer design service life. According to MODEC, this vessel will be one of the largest ever delivered to Brazil.

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Qiang Guo, site manager for the Bacalhau project in Dalian, China, commented: “Since the first steel cut in 2020, there have been almost 8,000 workers involved in all sectors of the FPSO Bacalhau hull and accommodation project. I am pleased to say that everyone has returned home safely every day.”
With a production capacity of 220,000 barrels per day, which is equivalent to a land oil and gas processing plant covering an area of 10 square kilometres, the FPSO Bacalhau’s weight of the upper module of oil and gas treatment reaches 50,000 tons. The vessel will be integrated with the topsides modules in Singapore, and then proceed to operation in the Santos Basin.
“Despite the challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we overcame it together, with strong collaboration from everyone involved in this delivery. We are proud to have accomplished a true teamwork with the team from MODEC and DSIC Shipyard! We still have a lot of work ahead of us, however, winning this stage ensuring the safety of all people was a great achievement,” according to Equinor.

The FPSO will be deployed at the Bacalhau field, which is situated across two licenses, BM-S-8 and Norte de Carcará, in the pre-salt region of the Santos Basin in water depths of 2,050 metres, approximately 185 kilometres off the coast of Ilhabela, São Paulo, Brazil.
Operated by Equinor in partnership with ExxonMobil, Petrogal Brasil and Pré-Sal Petróleo (PPSA), the Bacalhau development, which will consist of 19 subsea wells tied back to the FPSO, has recoverable reserves of more than two billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), including the Bacalhau North area.

MODEC points out: “We celebrated together with Equinor and its partners ExxonMobil and Petrogal Brasil the departure of the FPSO Bacalhau from the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry in China, after 32 months of work.”

The company claims that the FPSO will operate in the Santos Basin and the first oil is scheduled for 2025.

FPSO Bacalhau; Source: Equinor

Departure of FPSO Bacalhau from Chinese shipyard

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