Elaine Maslin, 15th June 2012
Shell has earmarked Dutch firm SBM Offshore for the supply and management of a floating production platform for its Fram field development in the UK North Sea, it was announced yesterday.
Development of the field is still subject to a final investment decision.
Shell put a questionmark over the Fram development after the UK Government’s unexpected tax grab last year.
After the March 2012 Budget, which offered a series of tax concessions for oil and gas producers, the UK-Dutch energy giant submitted an environmental statement – part of the approval process – to the Department of Energy and Climate Change for the central North Sea field.
SBM said the hull of the vessel for Fram would be based on a converted Aframax tanker and incorporate an internal turret permanent mooring system.
Crude would be offloaded to shuttle tankers and gas exported via the existing Fulmar pipeline.
The letter of interim award follows a five year enterprise framework agreement signed between Shell and SBM for the supply of small and medium-sized floating production, storage and offloading vessels (FPSOs) on a lease and operate basis.
SBM chief executive Bruno Chabas said: “We are delighted by the letter of interim award for this FPSO lease and operate project in the North Sea for Shell.
“This award reaffirms our strategy to focus on FPSOs as we develop SBM Offshore’s position as the world’s leading FPSO provider.
“The agreement signed earlier in the year is a commitment to work with Shell on a long-term basis to develop offshore floating solutions.
“We look forward to developing many more FPSO projects with Shell around the world in future.”