This was the first large-scale offshore project in the world to use disk stack centrifuges to separate water and sand from the crude oil. This system was selected, over the more traditional electrostatic treating, for its higher efficiency and greater flexibility with changing crude/water ratios.
In spite of using wellhead completion techniques to minimize solids production, about 72 metric tons of sand per day could potentially be produced mixed with crude emulsion. On the FPSO, sand is separated, collected, and slurried using a one-of-a-kind solids handling system for reinjection into subsea disposal wells. As a secondary alternative, the sand can be dewatered in decanter centrifuges prior to being taken to shore in tote bins.
For the FPSO topside modules, which are subject to dynamic loading as the hull moves and flexes, Fluor used state-of-the-art spectral fatigue analysis to calculate the stress concentration factors on critical structural connections. We also designed flexible elastomeric bearings to rest the modules on the hull supports, a simpler design pioneered by Fluor for FPSOs that avoids the precision machining and exotic materials of traditional friction pendulums or bearing pots.