Conoco will use a new design of floating production vessel to produce 60,000 barrels of oil a day from its Banff field in the North Sea, 200km east of Aberdeen.
The floating production storage and offloading vessel will be built in Korea with a Ranform delta-shaped hull design rather than the tanker-shaped hull on previous vessels.
The design provides a load-bearing capacity of 16,000 tonnes – equal to that of the largest conventional FPSO yet undertaken – on a vessel that can be built in nearly half the time and, at $200m, less than half the cost. The only shortcoming is less oil storage space, but this will be provided by a separate floating unit.
Petroleum Geo-Services UK will lease the vessel and the rest of the production system to the operator for seven years. The Department of Trade and Industry approved the Banff development plan last week, and first production is scheduled for June 1998.
Meanwhile, Phillips Petroleum announced it could start producing by the first quarter of next year from its recent Jade discovery in the central North Sea, just 20km north of its Judy field.