Association Technique Maritime et Aéronautique

Numéro : 2595 - Year : 2010

AZURITE, the first drilling FPSO in the world

Grégoire LAVIGNOLLE, Doris Engineering


The offshore industry is in continuous evolution and the designer must investigate and develop innovative and cost effective solutions in order to satisfy the market demand and follow the evolution of the modern world. This report presents the development of a marginal deep water oil field offshore the Republic of Congo which has been made viable economically by selection of a concept of “Drilling FPSO”. The FPSO concept which combines on the same floater the functions of Production, Storage and Offloading facilities is today largely selected for offshore oil and gas development and a large number of FPSO are in operation all over the world. Many companies of the oil and gas sectors have shown a strong interest for the FDPSO concept (Drilling FPSO) since years and have developed conceptual and pre-projects studies. The feasibility of this concept has been demonstrated and also that it was a possible way to optimise the development costs for a marginal field in deep water. Mobilising a drilling rig is actually a challenge and not economically viable for a marginal field due to the limited number of wells to drill. Another advantage is the possibility to conduct in parallel production and drilling operations with acceleration on the execution planning and a quicker return on the investment. The FDPSO concept had never been developed so far and the Azurite project constitutes a world premiere.

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