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Commencement of the Construction of Asia’s First Cylindrical FPSO Unit in COOEC Qingdao Yard


Photo 1: Kickoff meeting held on site

Figure 2: Schematic diagram of a cylindrical FPSO unit

The construction of Asia’s first cylindrical FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) unit undertaken by COOEC as the main contractor——the FPSO unit of Liuhua 11-1/4-1 Oilfield Secondary Development Project was officially commenced in COOEC Qingdao Yard on March 16, 2022. The construction of this core unit was commenced after the construction of Asia’s first 300-meter deepwater jacket was initiated in Zhuhai. A large number of technologies to be used on this FPSO unit for the first time will fill China’s technological gaps in the field of offshore engineering and help China make new breakthroughs in its capability to independently design and assemble super-large offshore oil and gas facilities for deepwater service.

This unit is the first cylindrical FPSO unit independently designed and constructed by China. It plays a very important role in improving China’s technological capabilities for the development of offshore oil and gas fields in midwaters and deep waters and for the construction of high-end FPSO units.

Liuhua 11-1/4-1 FPSO unit is the first cylindrical FPSO unit in Asia and the seventh cylindrical FPSO unit in the world. It consists of two parts, namely, the topside and the hull, with an operating water depth of 320 m and a maximum displacement of 100,000 tons. With a crude oil processing capacity of nearly 6,000 m3, a maximum storage capacity of 60,000 m3 and a design service life of 30 years, it can operate continuously for 15 years without dry-docking and withstand super typhoons with a return period of 100 years.

Compared with conventional FPSO units, cylindrical FPSO units have more advantages, such as less quantity of steel materials, high stability, and strong ability to withstand extreme sea states. The use of cylindrical FPSO units can reduce project investment and improve cost-effectiveness greatly. Since the world’s first PFSO unit was put into operation in 2007, the design of such units has been monopolized by foreign companies. Among more than 160 FPSO units in the world, there are only six cylindrical FPSO units in operation or under construction in the sea areas of UK, Norway, and Brazil.