A record pace in the number of floating production and storage orders was noted in a recent study by International Maritime Associates Inc., Washington DC.
The study found that the industry has placed a record 14 orders for floating units since March. Currently 256 floating systems are in service or available worldwide, according to the study.
Of these, 62% are floating production, storage, offloading (FPSO) vessels; 17% are production semisubmersibles; 9% are tension leg platforms; 7% are production spars; and the remaining 5% are production barges and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs).
Eleven of the 256 units are not on a field and are available for reuse.
The 14 orders since March include the world’s first floating LNG vessel. The $3 billion Prelude FLNG is the most expensive floating production unit ordered to date, the study noted.
Among the other orders, 9 are FPSOs (1 purpose-built unit, 6 units converted from trading tanker hulls, and 2 modification redeployments), 2 production spars, and 2 purpose-built FSRUs. The 14 construction contracts for these units exceed $11 billion, the study said.
Current order backlog includes 53 production floaters, a net increase of 6 units since March. This extends the buildup in backlog that began in second-half 2009, the study noted.
Of the 53 units, 28 have purpose built hulls and 25 have converted tanker hulls. Also 20 are orders from leasing operators, while 33 are orders from field operators.
The study identified 196 projects in the bidding, design, or planning stage that potentially will require floating production or storage. These projects are declared discoveries or planned developments where floating production or storage is an option.
Brazil has the most with 50 potential floater projects in the planning cycle. Next in line is Southeast Asia with 37, followed by West Africa with 36, Northern Europe with 22, Gulf of Mexico with 17, and Australia with 11.
Of the 196 planned projects, 53 are in the bidding or final design stage. Major hardware contracts for these 53 projects are likely to be let within the next 12-18 months, the study noted.
Another 143 floater projects are in the planning or study phase, and major hardware contracts for these are likely to be let in 2013-18, according to the study.