Field/project development

Equinor Awards Contracts for Bacalhau Project Offshore Brazil

Described as Brazil’s first-ever integrated SPS and SURF project, the development will include 19 wells, approximately 130 km of rigid risers and flowlines, and 35 km of umbilicals.

A rendering of the Bacalhau FPSO.
A rendering of the Bacalhau FPSO.

Equinor selected contractors for both the SURF (sbsea, umbilical, risers, and flowlines) and the FPSO (floating production, storage, and ofloading) contracts. The pre-salt Bacalhau field is located 185 km from the coast of the State of São Paulo, in water depths of 2050 m.

The SURF and FPSO contracts are based on a two-step award. The front-end engineering design (FEED) and pre-investment are starting now, with an option for the execution phase under a lump sum turnkey contract setup which includes engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) for the entire SURF and FPSO scopes. 

Subsea 7 awarded to Subsea Integration Alliance an exclusive contract by Equinor for the FEED study.

The awarded work is required to finalize the technical definition of the proposed development prior to Equinor making final investment decisions (FID) late 2020.

The development will include 19 wells, approximately 130 km of rigid risers and flowlines, and 35 km of umbilicals. Subsea Integration Alliance also will be responsible for subsequent life of field support, representing a fully integrated contract model across the entire field life cycle, from engineering, early engagement, to after-sales services.

The value of the EPCI contract will only be recognized by Subsea 7 in its order backlog after FID, and will represent a “major” project award, defined by the company as being over $750 million. Project management and engineering will take place in Rio de Janeiro with support from Subsea 7’s Global Project Centre in UK, France and various OneSubsea offices. Offshore installation activities are scheduled for 2022 and 2023.

The FPSO contractor, MODEC, will operate the FPSO for the first year. Thereafter, Equinor plans to operate the facilities until end of the license period in 2053. 

MODEC will be responsible for the design and construction of the FPSO, including topsides processing equipment as well as hull and marine systems. The FPSO vessel will be permanently moored at a water depth of approximately 2050 m by a spread mooring system to be supplied by MODEC group company, SOFEC Inc. First oil production is planned in the 2023–2024 timeframe.

The FPSO will be the largest FPSO ever delivered to Brazil, MODEC said. It will have a large topside designed to produce up to 220,000 B/D of crude oil, produce and inject up to 530 MMscf/D of associated gas, and inject up to 200,000 B/D of seawater. Its minimum storage capacity of crude oil will be 2 million bbl.

The FPSO will be the second application of MODEC's M350 Hull, a next-generation newbuilt hull for FPSOs, full double-hull design, which has been developed to accommodate larger topsides and larger storage capacity than conventional VLCC tankers, with a longer design service life. The hull will be built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd. in Dalian, China.

Equinor highlighted the "high degree of standardization and industrialization for both the SURF and FPSO contracts, leveraging contractors experience."