Demand for offshore production facilities surging, led by Brazil

Oil companies are increasingly pursuing offshore resources and that has led to an influx in massive platforms and other vessels.

There are currently 269 floating production units, such as oil platforms and vessels that can collect oil from deep-sea wells, up 22 percent from five years ago and nearly 80 percent higher than in 2003, according to the International Maritime Association.

And there are more offshore vessels on the way, the organization said.

Seventy-two floating production vessels are on order with builders and 241 units are in the building or planning stages, the association said.

Some of the largest new vessels are completing construction in Ingleside, Texas, along the U.S. Gulf Coast and one just set up for production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Photos: New oil platforms rise high to reach deep 

If the amount of new production units on order are brought into operation, the floating production unit inventory will grow 27 percent, the association said.

Brazil continues to dominate orders for production floaters – 23 units are being built for use offshore Brazil, 32 percent of the order backlog,” the association said.

The vessels on order total more than $11 billion and include a $3 billion vessel planned for Nigeria, the association said.

The backlog of ordered vessels includes 40 floating production storage and offloading vessels, which are large ships that can gather oil pumped up from undersea wells. Other vessels on order include five tension leg platforms, four spar platforms, one barge, four floating liquefied natural gas vessels and 12 floating storage and regasification units, the association said.

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