May 26, 2020
Dutch SBM Offshore achieved two important advances in the work of the FPSO Mero 2, which will be named Sepetiba. Even with the challenges imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the company completed the placement of the keel of the ship’s hull, considered the initial milestone in the construction of any vessel. In addition, the company announced that FPSO topside manufacturing has started in China, at the Bomesc shipyard; and in Brazil, at the EBR shipyard, in Rio Grande do Sul.
Regarding work related to the construction of the unit in China, SBM stated that the country’s shipyards “have reopened and are operating close to normal capacity”. As is well known, Chinese yards were closed at the beginning of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak that hit the country in the first months of 2020. The FPSO hull is being built at the CMHI shipyard. Meanwhile, at the Bomesc shipyard, where part of the ship’s topside is being built, the initial work completion forecast is March 2022. The module integration activities will also be carried out there.
According to Petrobrás’ last financial statement, the works at FPSO Sepetiba reached 30% of physical progress at the end of the first quarter of the year. The unit will be the second definitive production system implemented in the Mero field, in the Libra block. The platform is expected to be connected to up to 16 wells. Currently, there are already four of them drilled and two completed.
The Mero field is located in the Santos Basin pre-salt, 180 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. SBM is carrying out the design and construction of the platform ship’s hull using its Fast4Ward program, which reduces the duration of the work by up to 12 months. The FPSO will have the capacity to process up to 180 thousand barrels of oil per day (bpd) and 12 million m³ / day of gas.
Also according to the latest financial information from SBM, “the FPSO Sepetiba financing process is progressing according to the project’s execution schedule”. The vessel is expected to start production in 2023.
This contract is representative for SBM in its operations in Brazil, as it marks the company’s return to the segment of supply of platform ships for the national market. The Sepetiba FPSO will operate in water depths of approximately 2,000 meters and will have similar characteristics to the Mero 1 project, with some optimizations implemented.