Legal, regulatory treatment of floating oil and gas vessels needs clarification

Simon Shaddick Paul Dean Holman Fenwick Willan London FPSOs, like the Cidade de Anchieta shown here en route to Baleia Azul oil field off Brazil, face inconsistent legal and regulatory treatment because they're considered ships in some instances and fixed installations in others. Also shown are the Fairmount Glacier and Fairmount Summit supertugs, which towed the FPSO from Singapore to Brazil for field operator Petrobras at what Fairmount Marine claimed as a record average speed of 8.4 knots. Photo from Fairmount Marine. Are floating units, such as FPSOs, ships or permanent installations? Without an international standard, answers vary. A question that has long vexed the offshore oil a...

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