N'Goma FPSO docks in Angola

July 1, 2014

The N'Goma FPSO has berthed at Porto Amboim Estaleiros Navais yard (Paenal yard) at Port Amboim  in Angola, following a 7331mi voyage (13,577km) from Singapore.

Once the FPSO, a conversion project, is complete, it will be relocated to and start operations on the Eni-operated Block 15/06 West Hub offshore Angola by OPS - a joint venture company between Sonangol and SBM Offshore - under a 12 year lease and operate contract.

The FPSO is owned by Sonasing, which is owned by SBM Offshore, Sonangol, and Angolan Offshore Services. Formerly FPSO Xikomba, the N'Goma was disconnected from Angola Block 15 in 2011, where it had operated for eight years. SBM is converting the FPSO for work on Block 15/06.

Opened in 2008, Paenal shipyard was set up to meet Angola’s need to develop manufacturing technology and to facilitate the integration of FPSO modules.

The yard is a joint venture partnership between national oil company Sonangol, SBM Offshore, and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, who own 40%, 30% and 30% in the yard respectively. The yard has a heavy lift crane rated to 2500-ton, and 490m of purpose-built quayside. SBM says Paenal is capable of producing up to 10,000 tons of modules per year.

The N'Goma is the yard’s second mega FPSO in just eight months. Two of the N'Goma's modules were fabricated at Paenal - the sulphate removal package and the hot oil pump, both of which have been successfully lifted and integrated onboard the vessel.

“To meet the project’s specific requirements, the conversion included major upgrade work on the hull, turret and integration of new and refurbished topsides, which was successfully completed in Singapore at Keppel Shipyard. We are now committed to concluding the heavy lifting campaign and integration at Paenal,” says Jerome Garidou, Project Manager.

The FPSO will have a total oil processing capacity of 100,000bo/d, gas handling capacity of 115MMscf/d and water injection capacity of 120,000bbl/d.

In June 2014 OPS celebrated 10 years in operations, marking 41 years of cumulative FPSO experience offshore Angola. It is a joint venture between Sonangol (50%) and SBM Offshore (50%). In those 10 years, uptime was 99%, over 15 million manhours, producing more than 703MMbo.

The company’s head office is based in Luanda and has shore bases in Cabinda and Soyo; it employs 450 people onshore and offshore. About 1200 people are now employed at Panael, of which 85% are Angolan nationals. A 70% minimum is imposed on the industry by the government.

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