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FPSO market growth – what’s in store?

Posted on 26/03/2019

There were six new FPSO orders worldwide in 2017, 11 awards made in 2018 and 2019 is expected to be even more positive. According to the 2018 Worldwide Survey of FPSO Vessels, compiled by several contributors, the market as a whole grew from 178 operating vessels at the end of 2017, to 183 vessels either operating or slated to reach first production by the end of last year.

Analysts suspect that more than 30 FPSO projects could pass final investment decisions during 2019-2021, and this has been linked to global growth in the demand for drilling and well services. It’s thought that a total of more than 72,000 wells are set to be drilled and completed in 2019, a figure which is up 3% on 2018.

What’s causing the growth in FPSO projects?

Some of the main factors in the growth of FPSO projects being sanctioned is a renewed emphasis by operators to cut the costs of projects, improve productivity and maintain lower operating overheads – and the result is improved break-even levels for many of the planned FPSO projects.

The forecast sees a continuation of the improved FPSO market, and of the 33 FPSOs expected to be sanctioned between 2019 and 2021, it’s thought that 45%, or 15 units, will require a production capacity in excess of 80,000 barrels per day, with five vessels with a capacity of 200,000bpd or higher.

One of the biggest themes has been the rise of Chinese yards. For the first time, major oil companies are sanctioning projects in China, with six FPSOs awarded in the country.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the FPSO projects that could achieve FID in 2019, it’s a clear illustration of what’s to come and shows just how the FPSO market is making a strong recovery. As a leading supplier in engineering construction and project control professionals in the space, we’re always happy to help with any requirements you may have – whether you’re looking for workers, or looking for a new role. Please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss our latest opportunities!

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