The Local FPSO Operator

Image: Noble Energy

This article was originally published in the Africa Energy Series: Equatorial Guinea book.

Created to promote local content and train locals, GEPetrol joint venture GEPsing has succeeded in its mission and now operates FPSOs on the Aseng and Zafiro fields.

GEPsing, a joint venture company between state-owned oil company GEPetrol and SBM Offshore, operates and maintains two of the country’s largest floating, production, storage and offload- ing units— Noble’s Aseng and ExxonMobil’s Serpentina.

The FPSO Aseng was leased to Noble Energy, with a contract period of 15 years, from SBM Offshore in November 2011. The vessel has a maximum throughput of 80,000 barrels per day, achieving first oil on November 7, 2011. The FPSO Aseng was delivered to Noble Energy’s Aseng field in record time for SBM, in just 24 months.

In 2017, GEPsing signed a new operating and maintenance agreement with Mobil Equatorial Guinea Inc. (MEGI), continuing its work program on the Serpentina at the Zafiro oilfield offshore Equatorial Guinea for another five years. The Serpentina, which was constructed by SBM, came online in 2003 and has a maximum capacity of 110,000 bopd. Initially, the FPSO Serpentina was leased from SBM Offshore to ExxonMobil, but the operator purchased the vessel from SBM in Novem- ber 2005. GEPsing continues to operate and maintain the vessel, however.

GEPsing, with 60 percent of the company held by SBM Offshore and the remaining 40 percent by GEPetrol, is headquartered in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The strategic partnership between SBM Offshore and GEPetrol aimed at promoting local content in the country, and the company is noted for just that.

GEPsing implemented a nationalization program, which trains Equatoguinean employees to operate the FPSOs. Several of those employees eventually worked their way into supervisory positions. GEPsing sponsors students from the National Technical Institute of Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.