Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters Pte. Ltd. has won a contract from Shell Offshore Inc. to build and integrate the topside and hull of a Floating Production Unit (FPU) for the Whale field in the Gulf of Mexico.
The agreement precedes a final investment decision (FID) for the full Whale project, expected to be made next year by Shell. It paves the way for the Whale FPU to move ahead and take advantage of synergies from the ongoing Shell Vito FPU, currently under construction at Sembcorp Marine’s Tuas Boulevard Yard, the builder said.
The Whale FPU comprises a topside module and a four-column semi-submersible floating hull, with a combined weight of 25,000 tonnes. Slated for completion in 2022, it will operate in the Alaminos Canyon Block 772.
Like the Vito FPU, the entire Whale FPU topside will be integrated and commissioned on ground level at Tuas Boulevard Yard in order to minimize work-at-height risks for the workers. The completed FPU topside will then be raised and attached to a 51-meter tall hull, using a pair of gantry cranes that can lift up to 30,000 tonnes.
“With our state-of-the-art 30,000-metric-ton cranes at Tuas Boulevard Yard, we can assemble the Whale FPU topside into a mega-block and combine it with the hull efficiently in one single lift,” said Sembcorp Marine Head of Rigs & Floaters William Gu said, adding that the yard’s enormous lifting capacity is becoming a winning differentiator for Sembcorp Marine’s project execution.
Other than the Whale and Vito FPUs, Sembcorp Marine’s project track record in the Gulf of Mexico includes previous deliveries of eight semi-submersible drilling rigs and one semi-submersible hull.