Gulf of Mexico: Technical guidance and classification for Floating Production Unit (FPU)

Helix Producer I, FPU conversion, Phoenix Field

Compliance - Project - Helix-Producer - 306x172 **Creative Commons**

Asset type: Conversion of an ice-class train ferry to a Floating Production Unit (FPU).
Project scope: Independent classification and technical consultancy services.
Clients: Helix Energy Solutions Group (the operator) and Kommandor LLC (vessel owner).

Tropical storms and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico present ongoing safety and business concerns to oil and gas operators and investors in the region. To address this threat, Helix Producer I is the Gulf’s first ship-shaped, disconnectable, dynamically positioned FPU. In place of a conventional mooring, the unit incorporates a side-mounted, disconnectable transfer system (DTS) and seven 12 megawatt electric thrusters and dual 4,000-pound hydraulic thrusters. The design enables the FPU to disengage quickly from the risers so that it can leave its location in the event of oncoming extreme weather. In an emergency, this procedure is can be undertaken in as little as a minute. Where more notice is available, a controlled disconnect (including flushing the flow lines and lowering the buoy) would take between 12 and 24 hours.

Throughout this three-year project, we provided classification services and regular, technical consulting expertise, guiding the clients through international safety standards and helping to solve technical challenges. The project team comprised specialists from several of our offices, including Aberdeen, Copenhagen, Halifax, Houston, London, Piraeus and Rijeka.

Helix Producer I will process oil and gas from subsea wells approximately 85 miles off of the Louisiana coast in approximately 640 metres of water, with capacity to handle 45,000 b/d of oil, 70 MMcf/d of gas and 50,000 b/d of water.