This paper describes the successful modification and mobilization of the FPSO Munin to the West River Field, offshore China, to allow continued Field production while the incumbent FPSO is removed for essential dry docking and maintenance.

This paper lists the specific characteristics of the Munin and details the required studies and modifications that were required to achieve a production target of 80,000 BOPD whilst operating in a Dynamic Positioning System mode.

These goals were achieved within 12 months of contract award in an area known for its challenging environmental conditions. This has clearly demonstrated the flexibility and advantages of the Munin FPSO and that such a vessel could be of major interest for other offshore development scenarios.


In October 2004, the original FPSO (the NHKT) was due in dry dock for its 5-year class survey and extensive maintenance activities, scheduled to last 160 up to 190 days. To prevent a production shutdown of approximately half a year the field operator searched the market for temporary production facilities capable to replace the FPSO. The main criteria for the replacement facilities were:

  • Easy connection possibilities to the existing mooring system in order to minimize installation time and associated "non-production" time.

  • A disconnectable mooring system, due to the fact that the area is frequently visited by severe typhoons.

  • A production capacity of approximately 70,000 barrels oil per day (BOPD).

  • Sufficient storage capacity and reliable offloading arrangement to guarantee uninterrupted production.

When the field operator started to investigate the market for the replacement facilities, Bluewater was operating the Munin FPSO at the Lufeng Field, located in the South China Sea and licensed to Statoil Orient Inc (SOI). Contractually the Munin FPSO was obliged to remain on the Lufeng Field till February 15 2004. Bluewater offered the Munin FPSO to the field operator as temporary replacement for the NHKT on the West River Field on contract completion. Assuming production shutdown at February 15 Bluewater would have 7.5 months to modify the Munin FPSO and make it suitable for the West River Field. However, due to the high oil price and the higher than expected production on Lufeng, SOI and Bluewater agreed to keep the Munin FPSO as long as possible on the Lufeng Field.

In order to maximize production time, the Bluewater project team was challenged to minimize the yard modification period of the Munin FPSO. Initially a yard period of three weeks was planned, in which all modifications required for production on West River Field would have to be completed.

Studies carried out by SOI indicated un-recovered reserves on the Lufeng Field and the potential for field extensions. These events drew SOI and Bluewater together and Bluewater managed to secure a follow-up contract on the Lufeng Field after completing their obligations on the West River Field. This contract would secure several more years of production for the Munin FPSO on the Lufeng Field.

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