Chinese shipyard cuts first steel for FPSO destined for Brazil’s largest oilfield

Chinese yard Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry has cut first steel for the hull of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel destined for deployment at Petrobras’ Buzios pre-salt field — Brazil’s largest oilfield.

Under a subcontract with Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine, which is proposing to change its name to Seatrium, Cosco’s facility in Qidong is expected to deliver the hull of the P-82 FPSO at the end of 2024 along with its living quarters.

The hull and living quarters will be towed to Sembmarine for topsides integration and commissioning.

The FPSO is expected to enter operation in 2026 and will be linked to 16 development wells — nine oil producers and seven water-alternating-gas injectors.

The 80,000-tonne hull is 360 metres long, 60 metres wide and 34.3 metres high. With a production capacity of 225,000 barrels per day of oil and 12 million cubic metres per day of natural gas, the FPSO boasts a crude storage capacity of 1.6 million barrels.

Cosco has expanded the drydock at its Qidong facility, where keel laying can be performed in one go. Historically, the Chinese contractor would build vessel blocks in workshops and move them to the drydock for keel laying.

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Last October, Petrobras awarded Sembmarine the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the P-82 FPSO, considered the largest of its kind in the world, according to Cosco.

The FPSO will be one of Petrobras’ new generation of floaters, which are equipped with low-carbon technologies.

It will incorporate closed flare technology, which increases gas utilisation and prevents it from being burned in the atmosphere; a methane gas detection system capable of acting to prevent or mitigate the risk of leaks of this compound; and digital twins.

Petrobras owns a 92.6% operated stake in the Buzios field. It is partnered by China National Offshore Oil Corporation and China Oil & Gas Exploration & Development Company, each with a 3.7% stake.