SANTOS Ltd’s Barossa Gas Project reached another significant milestone last week with the successful installation of the 13th of 16 modules on the floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) in Singapore.

Santos contracted Oslo-listed BW Offshore to supply the Barossa FPSO, which is claimed to be one of the largest of its type ever built. The hull of BW Opal was constructed at South Korea’s SK OceanPlant to BWO’s RapidFramework model, with first steel cut on 24 November 2021.

The hull, with an overall length of 358 m and a width of 64 m, was built in six giga blocks which were joined in a floating dock and launched in June 2023. Subsequently, living quarters, engine casing and topsides process pipe racks were installed. In addition to steel, 670 kilometers of cable was pulled and around 30,000 pipe spools installed to complete construction, mechanical completion and pre-commissioning activities.

The hull was towed from South Korea on 28 October 2023 to the Seatrium yard in Singapore where fully completed process modules, e-house and turret modules are being lifted on to the hull to start integration activities. (Seatrium is the product of the 2023 merger between Sembcorp Marine and Keppel Offshore & Marine.) After completion of integration and commissioning, the production-ready BW Opal FPSO will be towed to the Timor Sea.

The Barossa field is located in Commonwealth waters approximately 285 kilometres offshore north-north west from Darwin, and gas output from the FPSO will be sent via gas pipeline to the existing Darwin LNG facility, with first gas targeted for 2025.