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Sembcorp Marine wins Whale field FPU contract for Shell’s GoM project

Whale field FPU contract : Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters has bagged a contract from Shell Offshore to construct and integrate the topside and hull of a floating production unit (FPU) for the Whale field located in the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM).

A final investment decision (FID) on the Whale field development is likely to be made in 2020 by Shell. Once made, the FID will give the green signal for the Whale field FPU to go ahead and leverage on the synergies from the ongoing Shell Vito FPU, which is currently being built at Sembcorp Marine’s Tuas Boulevard Yard.

The Whale field FPU will have a topside module and a four-column semi-submersible floating hull, which put together weigh 25,000 tonnes. Scheduled to be completed in 2022, the Whale field production unit will operate in the Alaminos Canyon Block 772.

William Gu – Head of Rigs & Floaters at Sembcorp Marine said: “We are very grateful to Shell for recognising our yard capabilities and entrusting us with the Whale FPU project, which comes after our successful bid for the Shell Vito FPU last year.”

Whale field FPU

Whale field FPU illustration

Whale field FPU illustration. Image courtesy of Sembcorp Marine Ltd.

The Whale field was discovered in January 2018 and is located near the Shell-operated Silvertip field and nearly 10 miles from the Shell-operated Perdido platform. The deepwater field is operated by Shell (60%), which is partnered by Chevron U.S.A. (40%).

According to Sembcorp Marine, the entire Whale field FPU topside, like the Vito FPU, will be integrated and commissioned on ground level at Tuas Boulevard Yard to minimize work-at-height risks for the workers.

Once completed, the topside of the floating production unit will be raised and attached to a 51-metre tall hull with the help of a pair of gantry cranes that have a lifting capacity of up to 30,000 tonnes.

William Gu said: “With our state-of-the-art 30,000-tonne cranes at Tuas Boulevard Yard, we can assemble the Whale FPU topside into a mega-block and combine it with the hull efficiently in one single lift.

Apart from the Whale and Vito FPUs, Sembcorp Marine had delivered eight semi-submersible drilling rigs and a semi-submersible hull in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company said that construction on the Whale field production unit and its subsequent integration project is not likely to have a material impact on its net tangible assets per share and earnings per share for the year ending 31 December 2019.

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