Mobile Offshore Production Units (MOPU) and Floating Production Storage and Offloading Units (FPSO)
Noble Offshore has a wealth of experience in floating production, from its inception through to the current, innovative, deepwater solutions of today.
Noble Offshore has been involved with more than 100 mobile offshore production ,With experts on hull, structural, mooring, turret, marine systems, living quarters, safety and utility modules Noble Offshore takes on all phases of the project from conceptual and front end engineering design, through detail design, site management and asset integrity management.Noble Offshore has performed a variety of work on production storage units such as FPSOs, FSOs, tension leg platforms, production semi-submersibles, spars, jack-ups and other configurations.
Mobile Offshore Production Units (MOPU)Design
Working closely with vessel and unit owners, we contribute design expertise for both new-build and converted units, from concept level through to detail design and including:
- Naval architecture
- Dynamic positioning
- Machinery and piping
- Electrical and instrumentation
- Topsides systems
- Mooring and risers
In addition, we have extensive in-house operational knowledge and this supports the efficient development of the design.
Project delay and cost overruns are mostly likely to occur during the construction or conversion period. To avoid or minimise this problem,Noble Offshore provides specialist teams to cover most project engineering deliverables, bringing hands-on, practical shipyard experience in helping clients save time and money through:
- Preparation of procurement specifications
- Negotiation and award of vendor contracts
- Support functions such as document control, planning and scheduling
- Installation equipment performance analysis
- System integration testing and trialling
Noble Offshore’s outstanding reputation for innovative offshore engineering ensures the company is at the forefront of MOPU installation work. Ongoing activities include:
- Pre-installation of moorings
- Hook-up of the MOPU
- Installation of risers and other subsea equipment
- Site commissioning activities
Noble Offshore does not own construction vessels or similar equipment, thus we are free to develop independent, effective installation solutions. Many innovative procedures are pioneered by Noble Offshore engineers, including novel anchor-tensioning systems, unique TLP connection processes, and the use of marine simulators to identify ‘what if’ scenarios.
If a mobile unit such as an FPSO is scheduled to be moored in one place for an extended period of time, it must be capable of enduring extreme environmental conditions, very different to those encountered by other, more mobile units and vessels. Being placed on station for extended periods can lead to poor operational performance.Noble Offshore carries out on-site repair and modification work, such as the replacement of damaged mooring lines, alongside the unit’s operational personnel.
In addition, we undertake unit removal and replacement operations for MOPUs, covering both the hull and associated moorings.
Exploration and production is increasingly taking place in remote areas, in deep waters and economically marginal fields, and requires innovative ways of reducing emissions or producing and storing liquefied natural gas (LNG). The technical potential in the floating production and storage of crude oil and gas has some way to go, with additional drilling capability and gas flaring just two recent innovations which Noble Offshore has been closely involved with.
Floating Production Storage and Offloading Units (FPSO)
Over many decades, fixed production platforms dominated and indeed characterised the offshore oil industry. But the need for floating production and storage units is growing rapidly.
For some years now, the production of oil and gas has been in the throes of fundamental change. On the one hand, the demands on the technology are rising, because the production conditions are becoming increasingly difficult. On the other hand, the global economy’s increased hunger for oil will push up the oil price in the long run, bringing the interest of the oil industry to bear on reserves that, owing to their size and location, would previously not have allowed economically feasible exploitation.In the wake of this development, the offshore oil industry will be deploying an increasing number of FPSO systems. The abbreviation stands for ‘floating production, storage and offloading’ and refers to special vessels that have onboard facilities to handle crude oil. These units are used wherever low-cost solutions are needed because of small fields or – as is the case with deepwater reserves – traditional production platforms have reached their technical and economic limits.
An FPSO vessel is fixed to a central anchoring point by means of the mooring system, which permits free rotation of the unit to account for wind and wave action. The crude oil is pumped onto the FPSO vessel via riser lines fastened to the seabed. Once on board, the oil is passed through separators to separate the gas and to remove water and sand, after which the product is stored.
Typically, the tank capacity is one million barrels. At regular intervals, a shuttle tanker calls to collect the crude oil for processing ashore. FPSO units may be either purpose-built vessels or converted seagoing tankers.Besides FPSOs, there are also floaters that lack the production facilities – these are then termed FSO ships.Noble Offshore has provided technical support to more than 30 FPSO / FSO systems since its establishment in 1982. The services in question involve HSE (health, safety and environment) risk management. FPSO / FSO units have to operate under gruelling environmental conditions.The operational procedures and technical facilities must be designed to minimise the risks to people, the environment and assets, but at the same time assure economical operations. One of the critical risks is offloading the crude oil to the shuttle tankers, which involves a very close approach. Not only is this manoeuvre a major challenge for seafarers, it also makes great demands on the technical equipment and machinery.Noble Offshore focuses its attention on the production facilities on board by supporting the owners and operators in the safe design of the production, storage and offloading installations. Process evaluation and hydraulic analyses promote the optimisation of pipeline systems and production facilities. The technical potential inherent in the floating production and storage of crude oil has certainly not been exhausted yet. At present, a vessel is being converted into an FDPSO – where ‘D’ indicates that the unit has the capability of autonomous drilling. Here, too, Noble Offshore is providing technical risk management consultancy and know-how for new developments.