Chevron evaluates new-build against converted FPSO for Angola Lucapa

KBR to complete FEED on Lucapa new-build FPSO

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolOn first quarter 2012, the international oil company Chevron through its local subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (Cabinda) and its partners, the national oil company Sonangol, Eni from Italy, Total from France, and Galp from Portugal,  had awarded the front end engineering and design (FEED) contract to the Houston-based engineering company KBR for a new-build floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for the Lucapa project, offshore Angola.

Located in the Block 14, the Lucapa oil and gas field was discovered in 2006 in water depth ranging between 800 meters and 2,000 meters with 3,340 total depth.

Chevron_Lucapa_FPSO_Angola_MapThe Block 14 where lies the Lucapa field belongs to the Lower Congo Basin, so called because of the crossing Congo River Canyon.

In the Block 14, Chevron and its partners share the working interests in such a way:

 – Chevron 31% is the operator

 – Local Sonangol 20%

 – Eni 20%

 – Total 20%

 – Galp 9%

In 2008, the discovery of satellite fields around the main reservoir confirmed the potential of Lucapa oil and gas field but in the same time its complexity to optimize the assets.

Consequently, Chevron and its partners ordered multiple conceptual studies to their respective preferred engineering services companies, Alliance Engineering, Doris Engineering and Houston Offshore Engineering.

From these conceptual studies, the recommendations to develop Lucapa converged in favor of a combination of subsea production wells and injection wells.

SBM Offshore to propose converted FPSO for Lucapa

To support this subsea production system, Chevron and its partners, Sonangol, Eni, Total and Galp opted for the FPSO with an estimated cost of $5 billion capital expenditure.

Chevron_Doris_Angola_Locapa_Conceptual_StudyOn first quarter 2012, they awarded the FEED contract for the FPSO to KBR.

At that time, this FEED contract for the FPSO is based on a new-build unit.

In November 2012, Chevron and its partners selected WorleyParsons‘ subsea experts IntecSea to carry out the FEED work for the subsea, umbilical, risers and flowlines (SURF) system of the Lucapa project.

The FEED on the SURF package is based on a combination of 20 wellheads.

The FPSO is designed to produce:

 – 100,000 b/d of crude oil

 – 90 million cubic feet per day

In addition the FPSO should have a storage capacity of 1 million barrel of oil equivalent (boe) of hydrocarbon liquids.

The FEED on the FPSO is due by KBR to be completed by mid 2013.

In the meantime, they assess the capabilities and available capacities of the shipyard to execute the construction of this new-build FPSO.

The South Korean contractors,  Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), and Samsung Heavy Industries (Samsung) came first on the list.

Chevroni_FPSOThen Chevron and its partners established a second list of shipyards with the Chinese contractors and other companies such as STX.

In parallel, the Dutch SBM Offshore (SBM) proposed a solution for the FPSO based on a converted super tanker.

In respect with the time frame of the project, SBM should be able to submit its proposal for a converted FPSO to Chevron and its partners in the same time as KBR for the new-build version.

Therefore Chevron and its partners should be able to organize the call for tender with the pre-qualified shipyards in respect with both alternatives.

With both FEED works on the Lucapa FPSO being returned on the second half of 2013, Chevron and its partners Sonangol, Eni, Total and Galp are planning to make the final investment decision (FID) one year later in the second half of 2014.

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