FPSO BW Opal; Source: BW Offshore

With construction nearing completion, FPSO on course for first gas next year

Norway’s FPSO operator BW Offshore is coming closer to the end of the construction phase for a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which will work on a gas field off the coast of Australia. As a result, the FPSO is on track to be ready for the first gas in 2025.

FPSO BW Opal; Source: BW Offshore

Recently, BW Offshore confirmed that its team was working on completing the construction of the topside modules for the FPSO BW Opal in Dyna-Mac and the turret modules in Profab while integration and commissioning activities were starting in the Seatrium Tuas Boulevard Yard. The first shipboard turret module was integrated into the hull on February 4, 2024, using the Asian Hercules III floating crane. 

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With hull, topsides, and turret and mooring system construction 98%, 94%, and 96% complete, respectively, the Norwegian player underlines that the FPSO BW Opal is progressing per the existing schedule for the first gas in the first half of 2025.

The company highlights that integration work is underway in Singapore, with 11 out of 16 topside modules successfully installed while the current focus is on maintaining schedule and mitigating project risks. According to BW Offshore, the long-term project economics remain intact.

Once fully completed, the FPSO BW Opal will produce natural gas from the Barossa field, thanks to a fixed 15-year FPSO contract, valued at $4.6 billion, which contains additional ten-year extension options. The FPSO will have a processing capacity of up to 900 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas and a design capacity of 11,000 barrels per day of stabilized condensate.

The Barossa field development entails an FPSO vessel, subsea production wells, supporting subsea infrastructure, and a gas export pipeline tied into the existing Bayu-Undan to Darwin LNG pipeline. The project is owned by a joint venture between Santos (operator, 50%), SK E&S (32.5%), and JERA (12.5%),

The FID for the project, located 300 km off the coast of Darwin in Australia, was taken in 2021 days after BW Offshore got its hands on a contract for the construction, connection, and operation of the FPSO destined for the Barossa field. The firm is convinced that the continued high Brent price supports the demand for new FPSOs, extensions, and redeployments.

BW Offshore is interested in capturing energy transition opportunities with low-carbon offshore energy production through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology installed on newbuild FPSOs and gas to power with CCS FLNG.