BP And Harland And Wolff Forming Joint Venture For $145-Million SWOPS Project

BP is to form a joint venture with Belfast shipbuilder Harland and Wolff for the construction of a special single well oil production system (SWOPS) vessel designed to extract oil directly from subsea wells. The agreement is subject to approval from the boards of both companies.

The cost of developing the SWOPS system, including production wells and subsea equipment, is expected to be some $145 million, allowing for inflation. The vessel, the riser, and the process plant will represent the major portion of the total cost, with Harland and Wolff being reimbursed partly from the revenues of the vessel.

Construction of the vessel, with a cargo capacity of some 42,000 tons, length of 820 feet, and beam of 121 feet will begin at the end of this year, with completion expected in mid-87. The joint venture, which was proposed by H&W, will also involve Matthew Hall Engineering acting as consultant and as subcontractor for the process plant and subsea riser.

With a draft of 35 feet, the vessel will have a segregated ballast capacity of about 38,000 tons and a dynamic positioning system capable of keeping her on station in up to Force 9 conditions. Production capacity will be up to 15,000 barrels per day. Once fully loaded, the vessel will depart to discharge at a convenient port.

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