The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela always has news for being an oil country. At this moment the media, the social networks, and the environmentalists, have been posing a danger of contamination. They warned of a ship, the Namariba, of Venezuelan flag belonging to Petrosucre (PDVSA-ENI), which was going to sink with a cargo of one million two hundred thousand barrels of oil.
The impressive thing about the news is to discover the characteristics of the ship:
* It has been anchored (multiple anchoring system) for ten years in a certain position (perennial)
* Each element of the anchorage system has an anchor, chutes, chains, guides, brakes, tensioners
* Two hundred and sixty-four meters long
* Double hull
* No rudder
* No engine
* Does not navigate
* No self-propulsion capability
* No autonomy
* It was brought to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, from Koje Island, South Korea, where it was built
* Serves to store crude oil
* It is coupled to vertical flexible hoses welded to the bow, which connect it to a system of crude oil transport pipes coming from the production unit of the Platform Heads
* It has a storage capacity of one million three hundred thousand barrels of oil (bdp)
* It currently holds one million two hundred thousand barrels of oil (bdp)
* The Namariba is used as a floating oil storage and offloading unit (FPSO)
* The oil tankers for export, dock every eight to nine days, only during the day with tugs that keep it separated from the stern of the FPSO Namariba at eighty meters during the transfer operations, following the national and international navigation regulationsl
* In previous weeks the pumping system was damaged and tilted
* Petrosucre, a PDVSA subsidiary responsible for this vessel, did corrective maintenance and straightened the ship
* The authorities of Trinidad and Tobago sent a technical commission that, according to the statement of the Minister of Industry and Energy, Franklin Khan, verified that there is no contamination, it is no longer tilted and it is safe.
We had to get in tune with reality. What was the Namariba ship doing, anchored for ten years in the Corocoro Oil Field, an offshore oil field? That is, it is used as a PORT or STATION TO LOAD OIL SHIPS for oil exports? According to Reuters it is fashionable to store oil in ships in all seas of the world, a record for this year of one hundred sixty million barrels of oil due to the suspension of operations by the COVID-19 Pandemic, is this why?
This year we were informed by the REUTERS news agency that in April 2020, the limit of the world's crude oil storage capacity had been exceeded. The fall in oil demand due to the decrease in consumption due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, caused some sixty supertankers (storage capacity of two million barrels of oil - bdp) to be assumed as warehouses, reaching the exorbitant figure of one hundred and sixty million barrels of oil (bdp). This was not the case of the ship Namariba.
We achieved a new development of ships as part of the Off Shore operations. A Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Unit (FPSO) is the term that identifies the operation of storing or storing oil or gas in ships especially for Off Shore operations, as well as supporting the management of gas and energy from production bases.
Oil is stored on the vessel used as an FPSO for two reasons, to await its transfer to onshore storage or a commercial oil tanker coming for export. It can also be used in the early stages of offshore fields while developing pipelines to land.
These are oil tankers that have been modified for this purpose, designed to remain in the same position at sea while their life cycle was the product of the need for storage and unloading operations due to the fact that Off Shore operations are increasingly far from land. Some use anchor systems, others use self-propelled systems that allow them to adjust their position and thus eliminate the anchor system. Since they are always anchored in the same place, they make them stronger to avoid early material fatigue.
Some FPSO's are designed with oil product separation plants, suitable for the type of oil from the parent field which gives you a profit advantage in the oil business. In addition to the separation capacity, gas re-injection and water re-injection to compensate the extraction pressure. In addition, power plants can be installed to support the Floating Extraction Plants.
The exploration of offshore oil deposits and the increase in Offshore operations has given rise to this technology of using these modified vessels as Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Units (FPSO's). We have an advantage because it is the alternative for the separation and handling of the gas from these units, because there is an express prohibition of burning and reinjection of this material from the well itself.
In August 2019, Mexico announced the acquisition of a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Unit (FPSO) in an offshore development ten kilometers (six miles) away, mediated by the participation of the Italian oil company ENI, which shares with PDVSA the Corocoro field in the Gulf of Paria, the FPSO Namariba.
The installation of Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Units (FPSO's) is becoming more and more frequent due to its advantages and shipyards have felt willing to design these stationary vessels, leaving the saying "standing ship does not earn freight" in bad taste.