Strong floating production vessel orders seen

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, May 12 -- The oil and gas industry is expected to invest $33 billion in the next 5 years to install 110 floating production and storage vessels (FPS), according to a report released by UK analysts Douglas Westwood at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston May 2.

The report's main author, Steve Robertson, said the company expects the value of FPS orders to total $9 billion/year over the next 3 years. The value of installations in years to follow "will be very high, reaching over $10 billion towards the end of the forecast period," he said.

Robertson said floating production, storage, and offloading vessels would account for 70% of the new floaters over the next 5 years, with installation of 80 units forecast.

The emphasis on deepwater exploration remains a key driver, he said. "We forecast that well over 70% of the global spend will be on floaters moored in water depths of 500 m or greater."

Strong market growth will lead to major installation activity toward the end of the decade. Annual global FPS expenditure is expected to increase to $8.9 billion in 2009 from an estimated $5.3 billion in 2005, Robertson said.

Douglas-Westwood expects installation activity off Africa to attract the largest share of total expenditure at $11.5 billion over the next 5 years. Major developments off Brazil also will boost Latin American FPS spending, forecast at $9.7 billion during 2005-09.

Report data were extracted from The World Floating Production Database, an information system that Douglas-Westwood maintains.

"Over the next 5 years we expect just seven operators to account for 46% of the installations and almost 65% of the capex forecast worldwide for the 2005-09 period," said database editor Georgie MacFarlan. Petrobras, with 17 installations, is forecast to be the biggest spender, followed closely by Royal Dutch/Shell, ExxonMobil Corp., BP PLC, and Total SA, he added.

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