FPSO Operation Increased 84% in Past Decade

MarineLink.com
Thursday, August 08, 2013
FPSOs in operation in 2003 and 2013

IMA/EMA recently completed an in-depth analysis of the floating production sector. Highlighted below are some key findings in Floating Production Systems: assessment of the outlook for FPSOs, Semis, TLPs, Spars, FLNGs, FSRUs and FSOs.

Inventory of floating production systems now at 269 units

FPSOs account for 61% of the existing systems. The balance is comprised of production semis, tension leg platforms, production spars, production barges and floating regasification/storage units. Thirteen units (twelveFPSOs and one Semi) are off field and available for reuse – resulting in an overall utilization rate of 95.2%. Another 93 floating storage/offloading units (without production capability) are in service.

Backlog of production floater orders remains at an all-time high

Current order backlog consists of 72 production floaters – 40 FPSOs, six production semis, five TLPs, four spars, one production barge, four FLNGs and 12 FSRUs. Almost half of floater fabrication work is taking place in Asia, principally conversion work in Singapore and China, with newbuilding work principally in Korea. Since March 2013, contracts for 10 production units totaling more than $11 billion have been placed, including the most expensive FPSO ever ordered at $3 billion. This continues the trend of increasingly higher prices, with the cost of a production floater now averaging close to $1 billion.

FPSO processing capacity has more than doubled in the past decade

The FPSO industry continues to see advances in processing capacity as well as sheer numbers of units. In mid-2003 there were 83 FPSOs in operation. This figure has now grown to 153 units, excluding available FPSOs and a few small units used for well testing. In the past 10 years, oil processing capacity on these FPSOs has grown from 6.1 million b/d to over 13.7 million b/d. Not only are there more FPSOs installed, but their oil processing capacity has increased – from an average of 74,000 b/d to 90,000 b/d during the past decade.

However, could recent deferrals indicate deeper troubles ahead?

Despite the spectacular growth in unit numbers and increasing order values, we see indications that deepwater investment may slow. According to Jim McCaul, head of IMA,“maybe it is more than a coincidence that five major deepwater projects have been deferred over the past several months. Each project had its own reason for deferral. But five in such a short period sends warning signals to everyone in this sector.”

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