A FPSO unit is a floating vessel used in the oil and gas industry to treat the oil and gas and condensates offshore before their transportation to the land by pipeline or shuttle vessels.
The FPSO is a multi-functions vessel for the processing of the oil and gas and condensates and storage before being offloaded to transportation vessels or into pipelines to the shore.
FPSOs are preferred in frontier offshore regions or in deep offshore fields as they are easy to install, and do not require a local pipeline infrastructure to export oil
– Converted tanker made of the conversion of an oil tanker
– Purpose-built FPSO or new-built FPSO designed and constructed to fit with the requirements of the oil and gas field from process perspective as well as from the geographical offshore constraints.
Usually for the small fields the converted oil taker offer a cheaper and quicker solution, while giant offshore fields like Total Pazflor or Girassol, require dedicated built on purpose FPSO.
Compared with classical offshore platforms, the FPSO can support more weight for processing capabilities and storage.
A vessel used only to store oil (without processing it) is referred to as a floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO).
Originally, these FSO were used in addition to the offshore platforms to store the oil and gas processed on the platforms.
With the FPSO, all the functions have been transferred from the platforms to the vessels with significant reduction of the capital expenditure.