Mooring Systems
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Track Record

With over 40 years of experience, SOFEC has established an impressive history in the design, construction, and delivery of marine terminals and single point mooring systems throughout the world.  Building on the strengths and capabilities that have made it an industry leader, SOFEC is continuously working to find new and innovative ways of satisfying changing customer needs. SOFEC’s recent successes, including proven disconnectable turret mooring systems off NW Australia, harsh environment systems in the South China Sea, deepwater mooring systems in Brazil, the complex disconnectable turret system for the Terra Nova FPSO, and a growing reputation worldwide have been the result of aggressive growth initiatives and the development of state-of-the-art technologies.

SOFEC has designed and built over 60 CALM and SALM offloading buoys, 22 external turret mooring systems (2 under construction), 8 internal turret systems (4 of which are disconnectable), 13 spread mooring systems (2 under construction), and 4 tower-soft yoke systems (2 under construction) that have been installed in locations all over the world.

Notable among SOFEC’s accomplishments (at the time of installation) include the following:

The largest internal turret mooring (and deepest water depth) – the P-34 Turret Mooring System installed in 1997 in 835 meters water depth (34 risers and umbilicals).
The largest and most sophisticated disconnectable internal turret mooring system in the world (PetroCanada Terra Nova FPSO, Newfoundland, 2001).
The world’s deepest disconnectable turret mooring system for the BHBP Stybarrow Field (2007).
The largest external turret system in the world FPSO (2013) to be installed on the FPSO OSX3 offshore Brazil with 27 risers and umbilicals. This is larger than the current record set by SOFEC in 2011 with the BP PSVM external turret mooring in 2,000 meters water depth, offshore Angola (18 risers and umbilicals).
The largest tower yoke mooring system in the world (CNOOC Bohai Bay FPSO, China, 2013).
An external turret system for the largest FSO in the world (Hunt Yemen FSO – a 409,000 DWT converted ULCC, Yemen, 1988).
Spread mooring design for the two largest FPSOs in the world – the Kizomba ‘A’ and ‘B’ FPSOs, offshore Angola. In addition, SOFEC has designed and supplied the mooring systems for the three deepest spread moored vessels offshore Brazil (Tupi, Guara and Cernambi Sul fields, approximately 2,200 meters).

Development of SOFEC External Turret Systems

SOFEC designed and built its first external turret system in 1988 for YEPCO, offshore Yemen. The FSO was the world’s largest FSO at the time and is still in service. Since 1988 SOFEC has designed, built and installed 20 external turret mooring systems, with two currently under construction.

Until 1995 the external turret systems built by SOFEC were designed for a few risers, in shallow water, for moderate environmental conditions. However, based on customer and market requirements, SOFEC started extending their technology for external turrets for use in harsh environments and to support a large number of risers and flow throughput. The FPSO Whakaaropai (Maui-B), offshore New Zealand, was developed to withstand 10.6m significant seas and support two large risers in 110 meters of water. The turret mooring required the design and development of a high load capacity and fatigue resistant turret and turret support system.

In 1997 and 1999 SOFEC designed external turret moorings for Petronas FPSO Perintis (MASA), Malaysia and BHP’s FPSO Buffalo Venture, Australia that supported 6 risers each. This required the design of a large external turret that would also support the swivel stack and piping required for such a system. This required the application of the knowledge and experience from our large internal turret designs for Petrobras FPSO Petrobras 31 and FPSO Petrobras 34, offshore Brazil to external turrets.

In 2000 SOFEC developed the technology required for a high capacity external turret to support up to 20 risers in water depths up to 2000 meters. The focus was primarily West Africa but was first applied for the Bijupira-Salema field, offshore Brazil, in 700 meters. The design utilized the largest single segment roller bearing available and was designed for 18 flexible risers and umbilicals. This system (FPSO Fluminense) was installed in 2003 and was the largest external turret built with the highest riser and throughput capacity. This technology was then applied for a shallow water design offshore Vietnam – the FPSO Cuulong MV9 (Su Tu Den) in 47 meters of water, supporting 11 large risers, installed in 2003, and the CNR’s FPSO Baobab Ivoirien MV10 offshore Ivory Coast in 970 meters water depth with 12 large flexible risers (2005).

In 2008 SOFEC then re-designed the turrets to allow a larger fluid throughput (up to 150,000 barrels of oil/day and high volumes of gas at pressures around 300 bar). This turret design was then used on two landmark FPSO projects – the Jubilee Field offshore Ghana (1,100 meters), and the PSVM field offshore (2,000 meters).

Currently SOFEC is building two external turrets, one for the OSX3 FPSO, offshore Brazil which will be the largest external turret in the world when installed in 2013 in 110 meters water depth. This external turret is based on a 9.5 segmented roller bearing and will support 27 risers and umbilicals.

In 2011 SOFEC supplied an external turret mooring system for the HLJOC TGT field offshore Vietnam. This turret mooring was designed to withstand 10 meter significant typhoon wave conditions in only 45 meters water depth which are some of the most challenging environmental conditions for designing an external turret mooring system. This turret structure forms the basis for the design of the PFLNG1 external turret mooring that also incorporates technology developed for gas applications in some of the large turrets mentioned above.

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