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Overview of Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessels (FPSO)

A Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel is used in the oil & gas industry to process and store oil and other hydrocarbons gathered offshore. An FPSO might produce these hydrocarbons itself, or it may get them from subsea wells.

FPSOs are often converted oil tankers, where the ship has been equipped with hydroprocessing equipment above deck and hydrocarbon storage facilities below deck. The ship can also be equipped with mooring systems which allow it to stay in place if necessary. These vessels often have crude oil pumped into them via pipelines from subsea reservoirs for processing. 

FPSO vessels are particularly useful because they allow for oil production even in incredibly remote locations, in which it would otherwise be impossible to process hydrocarbons. These processed hydrocarbons can then be easily transferred to a shuttle tanker, or even a pipeline, for easy transport to onshore facilities. Another huge benefit to FPSO vessels is their mobility. Once a reservoir has been depleted, they can be moved to a new location.

There are other types of floating systems aside from just FPSOs, including: Floating Storage and Offloading systems (FSOs), Floating Production Systems (FPSs), and Floating Storage Units (FSUs), each of which has it’s own uses.


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Articles about Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessels (FPSO)
  • July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Philip Buchan at Cyberhawk

    The benefits and advantages of drone inspection over other methods have made this technology a viable solution in industry. As utilization of drone technology continues to grow and expand, it’s important to not only understand what they can do but also, their limitations.

  • July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Nicolas Legregeois at Bureau Veritas

    More than 170 FPSOs currently operate worldwide with more expected to go into service over the next few years. The challenging environment in which these complex offshore energy assets operate requires safe and reliable systems that ensure continued production. Instituting appropriate independent inspection and certification regimens protects the substantial investment these vessels represent.

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