New vessel orders for offshore oil production recover to pre-Covid levels
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The world-wide market for new floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels for offshore oil production has recovered to pre-Covid levels, according to Rystad Energy research.

    In 2020, a total of three contracts were concluded for planning and construction of FPSO vessels – but in 2021 that number leaped to 10, nearly the same level as in 2019 (11). And in 2022, a further 10 agreements are due to be signed world-wide.

    The locomotive in restoring the market was Brazil, accounting in 2021 for seven of the 10 contracts – the remaining three were from Canada, China and Australia. The vessels are used for development of subsalt oilfields on the Brazilian shelf, including Buzios, Sepia, Itapu and Atapu. Thanks to development of these areas, oil production in Brazil is to increase from 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020 to 5 million bpd in 2030 – as forecast by Brazil’s State Research Institute EPE.

    The number of new agreements involving Brazil should decrease to three – but that should have no effect on world-wide statistics thanks to two new projects in Britain and five more in Angola, Malaysia, China, Australia and Guyana.

    In Britain, FPSO ships will be used to develop the Marigold North Sea oilfield, whose reserves are equal to 28.9 million barrels of oil equivalent. In Angola, the vessels are to be used at the Cameia oilfield, with 464 million barrels of oil equivalent, in China at the Liuhua 11-1 oilfield in the South China Sea (25 million barrels of oil equivalent), in Malaysia, the Limbayong oilfield (359 million barrels oil equivalent), in Australia, the Dorado oilfield off the country’s west coast (150 million bpd) and in Guyana, the Stabroek deepwater block, where production over 2019-2021 rose from 1,000 bpd to 120,000 bpd.

The use of FPSO vessels is becoming one of the increasingly popular ways of making a success out of oil and gas projects. In the period from 2021 to 2025 , a total of 592 offshore projects will be in operation, 67 % more than in 2016-2020 (355) as earlier forecast by Rystad Energy.

    The main growth will be in coastal projects (at a depth of zero to 125 metres), with numbers rising from 206 to 356. The number of deepwater projects (at a depth of 125 to 1,500 metres) will increase from 106 to 181 and ultra-deepwater projects (at a depth greater than 1,500 metres) from 43 to 55.

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