Offshore Adriatic Sea FPSO Project – Update

InterMoor Marine Services, has completed a Saipem UK contract to perform positioning and heading control for the hook-up operations of a new floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit in a depth of 815 meters in the Aquila Field, Adriatic Sea, Italy.

Initiated in August 2010, the agreement included carrying out FPSO positioning and heading control analyses; analyzing optimized anchor handling scenarios for the FPSO mooring hook-up; and producing marine and survey procedures. InterMoor mobilized navigation equipment for the FPSO, three heading control tugs (HCT), a diving support vessel (DSV) and an offshore construction vessel (OCV). InterMoor also procured the FPSO aft and forward towing equipment and provided tow masters and surveyors for the offshore operation. Aquila Field was developed in March 1998; 50 kilometers northeast of Brindisi, Italy, in international waters within the continental shelf. In 2006, the old FPSO hull was inspected and proven to be unfit for further use.

The replacement FPSO was the converted Aframax tanker, M.V. Betatank II. The plan included mooring the new FPSO using the existing Firenze FPSO mooring legs. A shuttle tanker then moored up to the FPSO and the contents were discharged accordingly. The Firenze FPSO conversion was completed in Dubai in July 2011 and towed to the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal. The FPSO arrived at Aquila Field on Sept. 12, 2011, and the operations commenced with heading and positioning control trials as well as diving operation trials. Three HCTs were utilized to maintain the FPSO within the specified offset and heading angle tolerance throughout the mooring line, umbilical and riser hook-up operations. The offshore operations were attended by two tow masters and three surveyors from InterMoor who were responsible for all FPSO and vessel spread movements for the project duration. The Aquila project wascompleted safely and successfully on Oct. 21, 2011.