North Sea

FPSO, Explained.

I thought I would try and explain a bit about this FPSO I’m on. First of all the name FPSO= Floating-it’s a boat, Production-turning oil into usable oil, Storage-capable of storing up to 540,000 barrels of oil, Offloading-once oil has been refined it can then be offloaded to a tanker and taken to shore.
This FPSO is 260m long and 41m wide.

At the moment it is in the process of connecting a complex series of pipes and tubing to the turret which in turn is connected to oil and gas wells on the seabed. This first shot is of my navigation screen which clearly shows the FPSO in red and to the right the Fugro Symphony (FS), the 10 green lines coming from the centre are the anchors and all the other lines are the pipeline we will be connecting too, about 17 in total over 4-5 phases.


In this photo you can see the Symphony alongside with the ROV in the water and the large orange pipe getting lowered over the side, the ROV will connect this to another pipe on the seabed and the other end to us. This takes about 32 hours to complete.


This shot is of the turret, all anchor chains and the various piping, which transports oil to the FPSO, injects gas into reservoirs, or sends controls and signals to and fro, are connected up through the FPSO’s turret.
While the turret always stays facing in the same direction so that the various connections do not get entangled, the FPSO can rotate around it in order to always face into the wind. This ensures the stability of the entire FPSO and the piping system. Since the storm damage on February the 4th 2011 the repairs have cost an estimated 1 Billion dollars.

If anyone has any questions please write them on the back on a 10 pound note and send it to……not really, just ask and if I know it I’ll answer it, if I don’t I’ll find out.

22 comments on “FPSO, Explained.

  1. Fantastic! Such innovations never cease to amaze. I didn’t realise the FPSO could rotate around the turret, that’s brilliant. What sort of water depth are you in?


  2. Dear RM, One of my friends and a fellow photo blogger pointed me to your site. I always am curious about how thinga get done – and your blog is a view to one realy specialized area. My dad was a crane operator Tland based) and I am an engineer by training, hence the curiousity. Great photos, interesting skies. Will continue to follow.


  3. This is very cool Mark. Thanks for sharing.


  4. factory sites on water.


  5. That looks and sounds complicated. The ordinary folk (me etc) have no comprehension of what is going on out there in the North Sea and other areas.


  6. Floating refineries, I never knew about those. Impressive!


  7. Cool, thanks for sharing. the engineer geek in me like to see this stuff.


  8. Hi Mark, As an artist you aim to bring to the world a unique view of life. You are truly doing that. Well done ARTIST! Best wishes, Robert


  9. This is so interesting! Wonderful shots to accompany your story! Thank you for sharing.


  10. So interesting, Mark – you’ve taken concepts that are very foreign and articulated them so well. And, gorgeous clouds in the second image!


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