Ping Petroleum has renamed the Hummingbird floating production storage and offload (FPSO) vessel “Excalibur” ahead of its planned redeployment at the Avalon field.
Ping – a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Dagang NeXchange (DNeX) – took delivery of the FPSO from previous owner Teekay in early July.
The change was made official during a renaming ceremony recently held in Port of Nigg and witnessed by delegations from DNeX and Ping.
Derived from the magical sword wielded by King Arthur, the vessel’s new name is in keeping with the associations of Avalon, an island central to Arthurian legend and sometimes described as the forging place of the mythic weapon.
The vessel arrived in the Cromarty Firth around a month ago and is now berthed at the Global Energy Group-run port, where it will undergo an overhaul. The new modifications will enable the vessel to be powered almost entirely by offshore wind when it is eventually redeployed.
Ping acquired a 100% stake in Avalon site in August 2021, and intends to make a final investment decision (FID) on the 23 million-barrel project later this year, ahead of production start up in 2025.
Central to those plans is a new agreement between Cerulean Winds and Ping, which will see the renewables developer build and deliver a new floating offshore wind turbine for use at the field.
Described as “one of the largest floating wind turbines built in the UK” the unit will provide the majority of power required by the FPSO, and in cases where power exceeds requirements, the partners are also exploring options to supply energy to other nearby production facilities.
Ping said it has already finalised the conceptual development planning and begun front-end-engineering works in preparation to submit a Field Development Plan (FDP) later this year, ahead of the expected FID.
“We are proud to be the new asset owner and ready to progress in our maiden greenfield upstream project, starting on a clean slate in line with DNeX’s and Ping’s growth strategies,” said DNeX managing director Tan Sri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir.
“The Excalibur can set the benchmark for a greener upstream operation with the deployment of a wind turbine technology that powers the entire production facility. This is a significant milestone for the Avalon Development and timely as we progressively move forward with the energy transition.”
Designed by Norwegian company Sevan, the Excalibur spans 60 metres in diameter, with a storage capacity of 270,000 barrels of oil. When deployed to Avalon, it will be able to produce about 25,000 barrels per day, supported by up to 47 offshore personnel.
The FPSO has spent almost all its life as the Hummingbird and was deployed at the Chestnut field, around 125 miles east of Aberdeen. It left the site weeks ago as operator Spirit Energy moves forwards with decommissioning plans.
Spirit said the field had produced four-times as many barrels than originally expected when it came on stream in 2008 via the Hummingbird.