This is an  excerpt from the July/August 2013 InTech by Suresh P. Nair, senior engineer at BW Offshore. To read the full article, please see the link at the bottom of this post.

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This article explores the advantages of using Foundation Fieldbus on a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) project by analyzing the results as if it had been implemented using Foundation Fieldbus. An FPSO receives hydrocarbons from offshore subsea fields, processes the produced fluids (with provisions for storing the oil in cargo tanks for later export), and compresses the produced gas to export to a suitable infrastructure. The industrial control and supervisory system reliably supervises, manages, monitors, controls, and maintains safety.Oil tanker

Foundation Fieldbus technology offers advantages such as digital protocol, flexibility for design, interoperability, self-diagnostics, ease of installation, minimum cabling, easy calibration, and simple commissioning. Despite these features, this technology is yet to gain popularity in FPSO projects. This article evaluates the integrated control and safety system (ICSS) of a recently executed FPSO project that employed a combination of remote input/output and traditional hardwiring concepts against the use of Foundation Fieldbus technology for the same application.

The ICSS implemented on the FPSO is a distributed system, provided with controllers, network interfaces, and other main equipment connected together through a redundant network. The system-associated electronic cabinets are installed primarily in three different locations: the central equipment room (CER) located in the living quarters, the switchgear room (SR) located in the engine room, and the electrical power module (EPM) located in the main deck. In addition, remote input/output (RIO) panels are located on topside modules for process plant management. The central control room has operator stations for user interface, monitoring, and control of plant performance; for alarm annunciation of process systems, utility systems, and marine systems; and for attending to safety actions.

A recently executed FPSO project by BW Offshore at Singapore Shipyard is considered for analysis purpose in this article. The FPSO conversion program includes selection of a cargo oil tanker vessel, repair and life extension of the vessel to meet the required project design life; design and installation of marine services equipment, firefighting equipment, process and utilities equipment at shipyard. The topside process modules for hydrocarbon processing and offloading/export were designed and built independently at the process module fabrication yard.

The topside process modules for hydrocarbon processing and offloading/export were designed and built independently at the process module fabrication yard. Afterward the topside process modules were transported, lifted, and installed on the main deck. Thereafter at the shipyard, the topside process modules were integrated with other services including cabling and piping. Mechanical completion includes the verification process of correct fabrication, construction, installation, inspection, testing, protection, and preservation, which are required before subsystem or system energization/pressurization and acceptance as mechanically complete. Commissioning and operation follows mechanical completion.

To read the full article on asset management systems, click here.

Suresh Nair

About the Author
Suresh P. Nair is senior engineer at BW Offshore, Singapore. As a lead engineer, he has executed several FPSO projects and has held various responsibilities through the projects: basic design, detail engineering, construction, and start-up. He has more than 20 years of experience and holds M.Sc. in control systems and automation.

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