FPSO and FSO systems today have become the primary method for many offshore oil and gas producing regions around the world.
An FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) is a floating production system that receives fluids (crude oil, water and a host of other things) from a subsea reservoir. Most FPSOs are ship-shaped and are 'anchored' (moored) by a turret. The type of turret used is determined by the environment of the FPSO. In calmer waters spread mooring is often sufficient. In environments where cyclones or hurricanes occur disconnectable mooring systems are used so that the vessel can be taken out of the storm's way and replaced when the storm has passed.
For more information about the mooring systems, please visit SOFEC website.
FPSOs have been serving the offshore oil and gas industry for nearly 30 years. They have proved to be safe and economical. Advantages of FPSOs are:
- Earlier cash flow because they are faster to develop than fixed platforms
- Reduced upfront investment
- Retained value because they can be relocated to other fields
- Abandonment costs are less than for fixed platforms
Over the years, advanced mooring systems as well as advancements in subsea equipment have made FPSO/FSOs useful in deeper and rougher waters. Currently, approximately 160 FPSOs and 100 FSOs are in operation worldwide.