In February 2012, James Fisher was awarded the BP Angola Export Tanker Support Services (ETSS) contract for deep-water blocks 18 and 31, offshore Angola. 

The blocks, operated by BP, both contain a permanently moored Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) tanker, each capable of holding around 1.8 million barrels of crude oil.

The crude oil is pumped from the FPSOs via floating hoses to visiting offtake tankers which arrive every 3 to 4 days. Each loading takes about 24 hours to complete.

The offtake tankers either moor in tandem to the FPSOs (one behind the other) or to a large Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring (CALM) Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) system and are held in place by large anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels.

James Fisher Angola (JFAL) is responsible for the supply of the three large anchor handlers to assist in the safe berthing and un-berthing of the visiting tankers and to hold them in place (static towing) whilst the loading operation is undertaken.


BP Angola

Services provided:

  • Connection of mooring lines and floating hose between the FPSO and the offtake tanker—undertaken by JFAL staff operating from specially designed workboats carried aboard the anchor handlers
  • Workboats also undertake the safe infield transportation of loading masters and customs officials
  • Maintenance of CALM buoy and offtake hoses and hawsers used to moor the visiting tankers
  • Supply of a diving team in Block 18 to conduct survey work and subsea maintenance on the CALM buoy and the FPSO itself

Benefits delivered:

  • All diving activities conducted in accordance with International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) guidelines
  • Vessel is dynamically positioned, enabling it to operate in very close proximity (tens of metres) to field installations
  • Vessel carries state-of-the-art diving spread specially commissioned for the contract
  • All offshore activities fully supported from JFAL’s offices and supply base in Luanda—around 120 divers, marine crew and office staff

Download the BP Angola Export Tanker Support Services case study.