Norwegian energy conglomerate Statoil signed a letter of intent yesterday with South Korean shipyard Samsung Heavy Industries for the construction of a new permanent floating storage unit (FSU) for the Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea.
The contract is worth an estimated USD $230 million and includes options to buy two additional units. The new storage unit will replace the existing buoy loading system on the field.
The Heidrun field has been developed with a floating tension leg platform with a concrete hull and has been on stream since 1995. Oil from the field has since the start been exported via a buoy loading system consisting of two buoys and purpose-built shuttle tankers.
The new FSU will be permanently connected to a buoy, and the oil will be lifted from the FSU by use of shuttle tankers. The FSU will be permanently manned and has an expected design life of 30 years.
“Our ambition is to maintain Heidrun production at least until 2045,” says Morten Loktu, Statoil’s head of the operations north cluster on the Norwegian continental shelf. “To reach this goal we need robust systems on board and efficient and secure oil export solutions. The new storage unit will provide such an efficient and robust oil storage solution in the Heidrun area.”
The unit will be built by Samsung at the world’s second-largest shipyard in Geoje Island, Republic of Korea. Engineering will start immediately and the unit is expected to be on location at the Heidrun field in the first half of 2015. Statoil has also secured options to buy two additional storage units for use on other fields if required.
“The procurement process was based on competition which involved world-class pre-qualified shipyards and Samsung presented the best overall offer, meeting Statoil’s requirements for HSE, cost and quality”, says Anders Opedal, head of Projects in Statoil.
Statoil has applied a maritime approach in the contract strategy by specifying that all systems of a maritime character should be built and operated in accordance with the classification system and maritime legislation, thus avoiding cost drivers resulting from new and unfamiliar requirements in the shipbuilding industry.
Samsung will carry out engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services and has applied its own vessel design to meet Statoil’s requirements, thereby enabling cost-effective design and alignment with the shipyard’s design and construction practices.