HOME > Floating Production Solutions > FPSOs & FSOs > About an FPSO

Floating Production Solutions

About an FPSO

FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) and FSO (Floating Storage and Offloading) systems today have become the primary method for many offshore oil and gas producing regions around the world. Currently, there are approximately 180 FPSOs and 100 FSOs in operation worldwide.

An FPSO is a floating production system that receives fluids (crude oil, water and a host of other things) from a subsea reservoir through risers, which then separate fluids into crude oil, natural gas, wataer and impurities within the topsides production facilities onboard. Crude oil storeded in the storage tanks of the FPSO is offloaded onto shuttle tankers to go to market or for further refining onshore.

Most FPSOs/FSOs are ship-shaped and can be secured to the seaved via a variety of mooring systems, the choice of which is determined by the specific environment. They are suitable for a wide range of water depth, environmental conditions and can be designed with the capability of staying on locaion for continuous operations for 20 years or longer.

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. Over the years, advanced mooring systems as well as advancements in subsea equipment have made FPSO/FSOs useful in deeper and rougher waters.

For more information about the mooring systems, please visit SOFEC website.

Internal Disconnectable Turret External Turret Tower Yoke Spread Mooring

Advantages of FPSOs are:

  • Reduced upfront investment
  • Retained value because they can be relocated to other fields
  • Abandonment costs are less than for fixed platforms