Case Studies > Ship Design & Engineering

Amplus Energy FPSO Design Development

Houlder is working with Amplus Energy Services to develop a new FPSO (Floating Processing, Storage and Offloading) vessel. The FPSO design is capable of economically handling 100,000 barrels from marginal wells. With many oil reserves being in technically challenging wells FPSO’s are a flexible and cost effective solution. Amplus was driven to use proven technology and cutting edge design to reduce the CAPEX and OPEX of recovering marginal reserves.

The fundamental difference between this vessel and other FPSO design projects is time on station. Only being on location for a matter of months rather than years means every moment of operability counts. Houlder’s challenge is to deliver a vessel that can maximise return by achieving low build and operating cost targets.  As a result, FPSO design work has been undertaken around the following key features:

  • Fast transit to and from port and between wells
  • A low roll hull that delivers stability and maximises operating days
  • Dynamic Positioning capability to remove mooring requirements
  • A high freeboard to minimise the impact of water on deck
  • A detachable turret system allowing the vessel to easily connect and disconnect to the well
  • Possible power from oil / gas from the well to reduce operating costs

The detachable turret system (DTS) has been designed to allow emergency disconnection within 30 seconds in the event of an emergency. The system is easy to disconnect and uses 6x6inch production risers and 3 control umbilicals’. The Versatile Production Unit (VPU) is designed to lift the flexible risers through the turret buoy. This helps to reduce the OPEX by removing the need for a Dive Support Vessel. By being able to disconnect easily the vessel can go back to shore for crew transfer, maintenance and resupply. Significantly reducing costs associated with helicopter transfers and additional transfer vessels.

The vessel has also been designed double skinned and capable of withstanding deep water and harsh environmental conditions. It is capable of being mobilised worldwide and meets new maritime legislations.

The VPU is easily modified to meet the needs of specific clients. This is due to the independently installed processing system that allows easy modification. The risers can either be flexible or rigid and allows for easy and low cost deployment.

The Rigid Riser System allows for maximum production and has a high angle disconnect. The patent pending Versa-HubTM allows for rapid connection and disconnection, riser foundation and the receiving and distribution manifold system.

FPSO design studies have also been undertaken to refine the propulsion and station keeping plant. This is alongside development of structural plans for submission to Class on Amplus’ behalf and a high level HAZID process with owners and potential operators as the project moves towards entering into a shipbuilding contract.

You can read more at www.amplus-energy.com

Houlder’s experience of designing all-weather support vessels means we’re ideally placed to ensure this FPSO design works as much as possible – even in difficult weather conditions.

- Mike Simpson, Marine Design Consultancy Director