Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) systems are the most versatile of floating production systems with installations in all oil producing regions of the world, for a wide range of water depth and environmental conditions. A key component that enables this is the mooring system that is designed to provide the desired performance of the system for the site-specific conditions. The paper focuses on FPSO mooring systems and their performance in harsh environments. This is accomplished by presenting the design and performance of FPSOs in the harsh storm and ice environment offshore Newfoundland, Eastern Canada, and a deepwater FPSO specifically designed for the cyclone environment offshore North Western Australia. The paper addresses key engineering challenges, solutions, and performance on station.
Over the past 25 years FPSO systems have proven to be the most versatile floating production systems in the offshore industry having been developed for a wide range of water depths, environmental conditions, and productions fluids and rates. Currently FPSOs are found in water depths from just above 25 meters to over 2,500 meters in harsh environments all over the world with no obvious limitation on their feasibility for existing frontier regions. FPSOs have been primarily moored in two major configurations:
spread-moored where the orientation of the vessel is fixed, similar to that used for other floating production systems and
provided with a single point mooring system that allows the vessel to weathervane about the mooring system as a function of the environmental conditions. Single point mooring systems are very versatile and there are many variations of the design, based on the specific requirements of the system. A typical single point mooring system for an FPSO is a turret mooring system that can be mounted either in the vessel hull or externally.