There is renewed interest in the oil and gas industry in standardisation as a mechanism for cost reduction, driven by the present low oil price and a search for efficiencies in project execution. However, the implementation of any approach to standardisation requires clarity about the objectives, benefits, and compromises that are required.
This paper reviews the different approaches to standardisation that can be considered for FPSOs, examines historical examples of standardisation, and the degree to which these examples have been successful. In particular, the paper addresses the extent to which design replication is possible, and the impacts of field conditions, regional regulatory framework, and client specifications on standardisation. Based on lessons learnt from the industry, together with in-house experience of FPSO design and operation, the paper will provide guidance on the extent to which standardisation can be achieved, the areas in which it can be applied, and the potential obstacles to its successful implementation.