Application of gas turbines in the off-shore oil and gas market has been successful for many years, utilizing both industrial gas turbines, as well as, aeroderivative types. Today, many operators in this market are pursuing the use of converted oil tankers and purpose-built barges — called Floating Production Storage and Off-Loading vessels (FPSO) — and semi-submersible or tension-leg platforms as alternative means of drilling for and production of oil and gas in much deeper waters than before, gaining flexibility of operation and reduced overall costs.
Due to the special requirements of extreme conditions experienced on board a FPSO vessel, each application involves a considerable amount of pre-design to determine the gas turbine package required capability to satisfy needed reliability. Additionally, international and local maritime regulatory bodies and classification societies concurrence/approval generally are required to authorize vessel operation. The intent of the “Code of Construction and Equipment of Offshore Drilling Units” is to recommend design criteria, construction standards, and other safety measures in order to minimize risk to the vessels, platforms, personnel and to the environment.
To incorporate these requirements into a standardized cost effective gas turbine system, this paper outlines the design features of such a package for installation on FPSO vessels.