SBM Offshore, a Dutch provider of floating production solutions for the offshore industry, has signed contracts with Shell Offshore to supply and lease a Suezmax floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for the Stones development project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The project is situated in a water depth of 9,500ft, about 320km offshore of Louisiana in the Walker Ridge area.

The FPSO, with an asset value of more than $1bn, will feature a generation two design and turret with a disconnectable buoy (Buoyant Turret Mooring or BTM) that will be configured with steel lazy-wave risers to disconnect from the vessel in the event of a hurricane.

"The project is situated in a water depth of 9,500ft, about 320km offshore of Louisiana in the Walker Ridge area."

In addition, the BTM will be able to adjust line tension during operations by use of an in-line mooring connector, said the company.

The vessel will have a processing facility capacity of 60,000bopd and 15mmscfd of gas treatment and export, alongside a storage capacity of more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil and total topsides weight of 7,000t.

SBM Offshore CEO, Bruno Chabas, said: "The Stones project is the latest successful FPSO award with Shell and reaffirms SBM’s continued focus on building long term relationships and FPSO-led strategic vision. We look forward to working on further groundbreaking projects with Shell in the years to come."

The contracts will run initially for ten years with scope for an extension up to 20 years.

According to SBM Offshore, the execution work has started in its Houston Execution Center, while early procurement and commitments are underway.

Both firms signed an Enterprise Framework Agreement (EFA) for the supply of medium and small FPSOs on a lease and operate basis in March 2012. SBM Offshore and Shell have been engaged in front-end development work for the Stones FPSO solution since 2011.

Energy