A brand new FPSO torn from its moorings by the typhoon

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The new Turtle FPSO for BP, September 9 (Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry)

Posted on September 19, 2022 at 9:25 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

Just a week after China Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry completed construction of BP’s new FPSO Tortue, Typhoon Muifa slammed into the Yangtze River estuary and tore the new floating facility from its moorings.


On-the-ground development partner Kosmos Energy reported that the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project FPSO drifted away from the Cosco Qidong yard quay when its mooring lines “were compromised”. It drifts some 200 meters from the quay and, as of September 16, work is underway to “allow the ship to return to quay”.


No injuries or pollution have been reported, and the cost of salvage and any potential damage will likely be covered by the project’s insurers, Kosmos reported.


The Cosco Qidong Offshore Co. is located on the estuary of the Changjiang River, about 20 miles north of Shanghai. Typhoon Muifa made landfall in China’s Zhoushan archipelago on Wednesday evening, bringing winds of nearly 100 miles per hour. It then headed for Shanghai, making a second landing in the early hours of Thursday morning before heading northwest. It was the strongest typhoon in modern history to hit the city.


Greater Tortue is a promising offshore gas basin off Mauritania and Senegal. The BP/Kosmos concession area covers five blocks and some 24,000 square kilometers of seabed. Exploratory drilling suggests that the Tortue field has approximately 15 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas reserves, and the basin as a whole could hold up to 100 tcf.


The unique development plan calls for subsea gas wells connected to an FPSO located approximately 80 km closer to shore. The FPSO – the storm-affected floating facility at Cosco Qidong – will remove the heaviest fractions from the gas stream and pump the remaining gas an additional 35 km to a floating liquefaction plant, which will be permanently moored to a jetty near from the shore. The FLNG plant is built as a conversion using the hull of an existing LNG carrier. The partners had hoped to see the first gas produced from the project by the third quarter of 2023.


Technip FMC was awarded the contract to design, supply and install the FPSO in 2019 for a total price of up to $1 billion, and Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry was awarded the contract to build the vessel and its surface modules . The work was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and Cosco finally held the completion ceremony on September 9, a week before the storm hit.

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