There are an increasing number of floating production units (FPUs) in the world, there are currently some 250 operational units with an expected increase of a further 150 units, mostly ship shape, in the next five years.
FPUs were initially limited to smaller field developments but are now increasingly chosen for large, deepwater and longer-life projects. These units are bigger, more complex and of higher value. The latest generation of FPUs include floating liquid natural gas (FLNG) units, which can be nearly 500 metres long, represent a huge investment in the order of several billion dollars, and are not intended to drydock for 25 years or more.
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