Orders for Floating Production Systems

Thursday, February 22, 2007
(Source: IMA, Floating Production Systems, 2006)

If confirmation is needed that the offshore oil sector is booming, it’s clearly provided by the recent spike in orders for production floaters. Since July there have been orders for 20 production floaters, adding almost 9% to the future inventory of FPSOs, production semis, spars and tension leg platforms.

Growth in Number of Units — There are 188 production floaters in service or available as of end 2006. Another 62 are on order for delivery over the next two years. According to Jim McCaul, head of U.S. consulting firm IMA, “the 2006 inventory is almost triple the number of units operating 10 years ago and more than 10 times the number 20 years back.”

Growth in Number of Floating Production Units

Current Inventory — The current inventory consists of 115 FPSOs, 39 production semis, 20 TLPs and 14 spars. They are producing on fields primarily offshore West Africa, Northern Europe, US Gulf Coast, Brazil, Southeast Asia, China and Australia/New Zealand. Another 70 floating storage vessels (without production capability) are now in service, primarily in Southeast Asia, West Africa and the North Sea.

Order Backlog — With the large intake of recent floater orders, the order backlog as of end 2006 totals 62 units. This is substantially higher than the backlog recorded at the same time in previous years. The current backlog consists of 47 FPSOs, 9 production semis, 2 TLPs and 4 spars. According to McCaul, “this is by far the highest order backlog of floaters in the 30-year history of floating production systems.” He added that “the number of floaters now on order is about the same as the total number in operation ten years ago.”

Order Backlog of Production Floaters New Projects Being Planned — The market for the foreseeable future continues to look extremely strong. IMA has identified 105 projects currently in the bidding, design or planning stage that potentially require floating production or storage systems. According to McCaul, “if all these projects materialized, they would generate a requirement for 88 production floaters, 15 floating storage units and 7 floating regasification facilities.”

Details in IMA’s New Floater Report — IMA has just issued an in-depth analysis of the floating production market. The 127 page report provides details for production and storage floaters now in service, profiles all of the known floater projects in the planning pipeline, analyzes market share of key players in the floater sector and examines developments taking place that impact the future floater market. This report is a continuation of a series of reports on the floater market that IMA began in the mid 1990s. The reports, issued at four month intervals, have become a popular reference source in the floater sector.

For further information, email imaassoc@msn.com

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