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SembMarine bags Shell's floating production unit contract

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An artist's impression of the Whale Floating Production Unit (FPU). The FPU is being made for Shell’s Whale field development, with the agreement coming ahead of a final investment decision to be made next year by Shell for the full project.

SEMBCORP Marine Rigs & Floaters has won a contract from Shell Offshore to build and integrate the topside and hull of a floating production unit (FPU) in the Gulf of Mexico.

The FPU is being made for Shell’s Whale field development, with the agreement coming ahead of a final investment decision to be made next year by Shell for the full project.

"It paves the way for the Whale FPU to move ahead and take advantage of synergies from the ongoing Shell Vito FPU, currently under construction at SembMarine’s Tuas Boulevard Yard," said SembMarine in a Friday morning bourse filing.

The Whale FPU comprises a topside module and a four-column semi-submersible floating hull, with a combined weight of 25,000 tonnes. Slated for completion in 2022, it will operate in the Alaminos Canyon Block 772 in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Like the Vito FPU, the entire Whale FPU topside will be integrated and commissioned on ground level at Tuas Boulevard Yard in order to minimise work-at-height risks for the workers, said SembMarine.

Other than the Whale and Vito FPUs, Sembcorp Marine’s project track record in the Gulf of Mexico includes previous deliveries of eight semi-submersible drilling rigs and one semi-submersible hull.

The Whale FPU project is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of SembMarine for the year ending Dec 31, 2019.

SembMarine shares closed down S$0.01 or 0.7 per cent to S$1.37 on Thursday.