Industry is taking a closer look at aging floating production units (FPUs) to determine if they can safely continue to produce the fields where they are deployed. Many of these units were designed for a specific life, but as a result of new oil and gas recovery technologies and the discovery of additional reservoirs through delineation drilling, FPUs are producing fields that have many years of production ahead In these instances, owners and operators have to determine whether to continue to use an asset that is on station or whether the FPU should be taken out of service. In either case, the first step is to initiate an evaluation that assesses the integrity of the asset and to determine if it is suitable to pursue a life-extension process. Determining that a unit is suitable for continued service includes an assessment of the hull structure, the mooring and tendon systems, the unit’s stability, the integrity of the onboard machinery, etc. for the entire installation.
To help asset owners that are evaluating FPUs to determine if they can remain on site beyond originally estimated field life, ABS published its latest guidance on floating production units, ABS Guidance Notes on Life Extension Methodology for Floating Production Installations in 2Q 2015.
When older units are being evaluated for continuing service or new designs are introduced, it is a strategic advantage to get support from ABS, a classification society that has the experience, knowledge and record of innovation to FPSOs.