Cylindrical FPSO Being Tested for Gulf of Mexico

Voyageur Spirit
Voyageur Spirit FPSO

By MarEx 2016-05-26 18:48:53

Model scale testing of Sevan Marine’s cylindrical FPSO hull is underway for application in the Gulf of Mexico’s ultra-deep water. 

The research is being conducted under a program organized by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), Doris Inc., Sevan Marine and the Offshore Technology Research Center (OTRC) at Texas A&M University.

The model tests at OTRC have confirmed the favorable motion characteristics of the Sevan Marine design enabling its application with Steel Catenary Risers (SCR) and permanent mooring in even the harshest hurricane conditions. 

Further research and testing is planned, but Sevan Marine is confident that this can be a game changing technology for deep water offshore applications particularly in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico’s outer continental shelf in years to come.

Funding for the projects is provided through the “Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research and Development Program” authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This program—funded from lease bonuses and royalties paid by industry to produce oil and gas on federal lands—is designed to assess and mitigate risk enhancing the environmental sustainability of oil and gas exploration and production activities. 

The three Sevan FPSO's currently installed: FPSO Piranema Spirit in Brazil, and FPSO Hummingbird Spirit and FPSO Voyageur Spirit in the North Sea. The Sevan hull is suitable for operation in water depths ranging from 30 meters to more than 3,000 meters. Model tests have been made for the most extreme North Atlantic conditions as well as for the toughest cyclonic conditions with excellent results, says the company.

Main features of the design are:

Circular hull with symmetry of the design
High capacity for oil storage and deck loads
Excellent motion characteristics
No turret or swivel
A large number of risers may be carried by the FPSOs
High safety standards

The symmetry of the design and the simplicity of the structural arrangement make the construction of the hull simple and efficient. No special facilities or infrastructure are required, thus standard shipyard facilities existing worldwide are sufficient to construct Sevan units.