Hurricane makes headway with Lancaster FPSO tests


UK-based Hurricane Energy has made progress on activities related to the Early Production System for the Lancaster field (Lancaster EPS) located West of Shetland with successful trial fit testing of buoy and FPSO turret.

Hurricane said on Wednesday that a key project milestone has been achieved, with completion of buoy ‘dry’ trial fit testing operations by Bluewater and Dubai Drydocks World.

Under the EPC contract with Bluewater, the Aoka Mizu FPSO is currently undergoing repair, upgrade and life extension works at the Drydocks World yard, in Dubai. Hurricane selected the FPSO Aoka Mizu for the Lancaster EPS in September 2017 after making the final investment decision for the project. The FPSO arrived at the shipyard in October last year.

This facility is also carrying out the fabrication of the buoy which will form part of the project’s mooring system. A ‘dry’ trial fit testing operation was carried out between the buoy cone and the turret mooring system of the Aoka Mizu. The final step in the testing sequence involved separation of the turret from the buoy cone, which occurred on February 13, 2018.

According to the company, the successful completion of these operations provides a high level of confidence that the newly machined conical ring of the buoy will successfully engage with the machined receptacle of the existing turret, during the offshore hook-up campaign for the Lancaster EPS. Thanks to careful dimensional control, and appropriate scheduling of the activities, the fit and proper functioning of the turret locking mechanism has been demonstrated a week ahead of schedule, Hurricane explained.

“As the cost and schedule consequences of an incorrect fit during offshore hook-up were a significant risk to the Lancaster EPS project, Hurricane, Bluewater and Drydocks World are delighted with the positive result,” Hurricane said.

The buoy cone will now be released for painting and to be connected to the base buoyancy structure, which has been fabricated separately from the cone. Completion and outfitting of the buoy is on schedule; it is expected to be ready to sail away from Dubai during the second quarter of 2018. Handover to the offshore installation contractor will occur on delivery at the port of Lerwick in the UK, in order to be installed during the third quarter of 2018.

The turret of the Aoka Mizu, which was removed so that certain renovation and upgrade works could be carried out, will be reattached to the vessel as part of its continuing upgrade and life extension works. Vessel sail away from Dubai remains on schedule to take place by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

Dr Robert Trice, Chief Executive of Hurricane, commented: “I am delighted that the Lancaster EPS development has passed another key milestone with the successful trial fit testing of the buoy in Dubai. I would like to thank Bluewater and Dubai Drydocks World for reaching this milestone ahead of schedule, whilst maintaining safe operations.

“I look forward to the next time that this equipment is connected which will be to secure the FPSO in place for the life of the Lancaster EPS. With other operations continuing as planned, we remain on schedule for target first oil in H1 2019.”

Earlier this week, LOC Aberdeen, a part of the marine and engineering consultancy LOC Group, was appointed by Hurricane Energy to provide marine warranty surveyor services for the Lancaster EPS development.