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Equinor hits market with inquiry for topsides work on huge new Bay du Nord FPSO

Topsides study will be a critical in designing concept needed for a “low maintenance” facility sited 500 kilometres offshore

Norwegian major Equinor has hit the contractor market with an inquiry covering topsides engineering on its huge new, rebooted Bay du Nord oil project offshore eastern Canada.

Upstream reported last month that the operator had reignited the stalled project and is now focused on deployment of a large floating production, storage and offloading vessel that can produce 200,000 barrels per day of oil, one third more than previously planned.

Located in Newfoundland & Labrador waters, the development was shelved in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on a capital-intensive project.

But two successful exploration wells beefed up the estimated crude resource to about 1 billion barrels from some 300 million barrels, underpinning Equinor’s decision to revamp its original development plan.

This news of the project’s revival is supported by Equinor releasing an inquiry covering conceptual studies for the FPSO’s topsides, with responses due for submission on 12 November — the end of this week.

Qualified engineering houses will be sent invitations to bid within weeks, with Equinor aiming to award a contract by the end of this year.

n the original development, Aker Solutions, working with Kvaerner, and Kiewit, working with Wood, had been involved in the topsides engineering, while Norway’s Saltship handled hull studies.
Worley was also involved in the FPSO deck studies at one stage.

These new topsides studies are expected to last until May 2022, according to documentation seen by Upstream, and will be a critical input into topsides front-end engineering and design studies.

At a broad level, the workscope calls for a design that integrates with the FPSO hull, turret, mooring system, risers plus its safety and automation system.

The study will have to account for Bay du Nord’s harsh-weather location some 500 kilometres from the coast in the remote Flemish Pass basin.

Because of the cost of supporting operations this far offshore, the topsides design will have to fit in with Equinor’s ambition for the FPSO to be a “low maintenance facility”, with the operator willing to consider new technologies to meet this objective.

Specifically, the Norwegian player wants an estimate on the number of person hours required to carry out yearly maintenance activities on the major topside’s equipment.
Equinor is also calling for the FPSO to be designed to minimise carbon emissions.

The preferred contactor will base its work on the work performed by Equinor to date.

The operator wants the study to be detailed enough to prepare a weight estimate with an uncertainty of plus or minus 15% and a cost estimate of plus or minus 30%.

Another output from the study calls for the preparation of capex estimate and schedule for the subsequent project phases — FEED, detailed design, construction, hook-up, integration and commissioning.

The conceptual study also needs to focus on the construction and execution strategy, including module fabrication and integration.

Equinor’s base-case development solution for Bay du Nord consists of a ship-shaped FPSO with tandem offloading and a dis-connectable turret system so the vessel can move away from approaching icebergs.

The project’s subsea concept is based on steel lazy-wave risers and a subsea production system with templates plus deviated production and injection wells.

Source: Upstream | This text was excerpted from the media outlet cited on November 9, 2021 and is provided to Noia members for information purposes only. Any opinion expressed therein is neither attributable to nor endorsed by Noia