The first ever purpose built FPS based on a semi-submersible design was the GVA 5000 dedicated for the Balmoral field development in the North Sea.

The Balmoral unit is a combined production, work-over drilling and diving facility. It has a production capacity of 60,000 BOPD and 100,000 BWPD.

This unit has been operating permanently on location since first oil in November 1986. The facility has not been shut down at any time during this period of operation as a result of weather nor motion, even though North Sea conditions are among the most severe in the world.
The Balmoral FPS was fabricated in the now closed down GVA shipyard.

The Balmoral FPS carries all the hallmarks of the typical GVA series of floaters – simplicity of design, twin pontoon hulls, four columns, two braces, and rigid deck box.

With the development of directional drilling it is nowadays possible from one drilling location to reach the boundaries of large reservoirs or to develop several reservoirs located far apart in horizontal direction. Therefore in many cases, it will be attractive to gather the wellheads together in one central location and then station a semi-submersible FPS with a drilling/work-over facilities above the wellheads.

Field Data
Location:North Sea, UK Sector
Water depth:150 m  (490 ft)
Status:First Oil 1986

Product data:

TypeFloating production
Operation Water Depth300