Nine floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) systems utilizing tankers (or barges) anchored by single point moorings have been installed or are under construction.
Since the first FPSO system began operation in 1976 a total of almost 40 system-years operational experience has been accumulated. As a result of this experience, component design reflects the particular FPSO environment and reliability has been much improved while system downtime has been reduced.
After broadly describing the nine FPSO facilities, the operational experience of the most essential components and subsystems are detailed. The key elements include: the mooring system, the fluid transfer system, the processing equipment and the cargo offloading system.
Emphasis is put on the fluid transfer system which includes high pressure flexible risers and high pressure swivels accommodating independent paths for crude, gas and water. The principal results are given for a research program investigating high pressure seals for large diameter swivels.
The paper concludes with a near-future forecast of FPSO applications.