The FPSO built for the BP-operated Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project has set sail towards the project site off the coasts of Mauritania and Senegal.
The FPSO departed the Cosco shipyard in Qidong, China, on Friday, January 23, after completing sea trials following construction over the past three and a half years.
It will now sail 12,000 nautical miles via Singapore to its final destination, around 40 kilometers offshore on the maritime border of the neighboring countries. According to Kosmos Energy, BP's partner in the project, the FPSO should reach the final destination in the second quarter of the year.
The FPSO is a key part of the major integrated GTA development that also includes the subsea development of gas fields and near-shore floating LNG (FLNG) facilities. The project’s first phase is set to produce around 2.3 million tonnes of LNG per year.
The FPSO will process natural gas - removing condensate, water, and other impurities - before exporting it by pipeline to the project’s FLNG facilities, 10 km offshore. With eight processing and production modules, the FPSO will process around 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
According to BP, the majority of the gas will be liquefied by the FLNG facilities and exported to international markets, while some will be used to meet growing demand in the two host countries. Condensate will be periodically transferred from the FPSO to shuttle tankers for export to market.
The FPSO will sit in about 120 meters of water, accommodate up to 140 employees during regular operations, and serve as the home for the project’s production team.
The FPSO measures 270 meters in length, 54 meters in width, and 31.5 meters in depth. With an area equivalent to two football fields and as tall as a 10-floor building, the FPSO is made of more than 81,000 tonnes of steel, 37,000 m of pipe spools, and 1.52 million meters of cable.
Gordon Birrell, BP’s executive vice president of production and operations, said: “This is a fantastic milestone for this important project, which is a great example of BP’s resilient hydrocarbon strategy in action."
"The team has delivered this in a challenging environment, including through COVID, always keeping safe operations at the heart of what they do. With the continued support of our partners, Societé Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures in Mauritania, Petrosen in Senegal, and Kosmos Energy, we remain committed to helping both countries to develop their world-class resources in a sustainable way.”
BP awarded Technip Energies a contract for the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning (EPCIC) of the GTA FPSO in 2019. This came after Technip Energies completed the front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the project.
According to Technip Energies, the key function of the FPSO is to remove water, condensate, and reduce impurities in the gas stream before exporting processed gas to the FLNG facility in Mauritania and Senegal.
Worth noting, in September 2022, the FPSO had to be returned back to the quayside after drifting away due to the impact of Typhoon Muifa
The vessel had drifted approximately 200 meters off the quayside, after its mooring lines of became compromised during the typhoon on September 15, 2022. BP's partner Kosmos said on September 27, 2022, that "inspections conducted to date have not identified any significant damage."
In a statement on Monday, commenting on the FPSO sailaway from China, Andrew G. Inglis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kosmos Energy, said: "The sailaway of the GTA FPSO from the shipyard in China is a key milestone for the project. At the end of 2022, the project was around 90% complete, and we look forward to an active 2023 where we expect to achieve a number of important milestones for the project and the company.”