FPSO construction powering mechanical drive market

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The market for gas turbines in the worldwide oil and gas industry will see significant expansion thanks to rapid growth in demand for floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels used in offshore oil and gas exploitation projects, according to data generated by Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System version 3.1.

Forecast International is projecting the sales value of mechanical drive industrial gas turbines delivered between 2016 and 2030 to total $27.8 billion. Approximately 4,220 turbines will be sold during this period, with a per-unit price of $6.5 million. These gas turbines will be used for pipeline compression and pumping, and in LNG applications, as well as in refineries and in the chemical and petrochemical industries.

"Gas turbines used as compressors or pump drives meet the requirements for reliability, availability, efficiency, and environmental compatibility, providing low life-cycle costs and the best possible return on investment," said Stuart Slade, Forecast International's senior Industrial and Marine gas turbine analyst.

Increasing use of natural gas as fuel for industrial applications is also accelerating demand for mechanical drive gas turbines, according to Slade. "The share of the market held by natural gas will grow to over 19 percent in 2017, to over 21 percent by 2020, and to 23.5 percent by 2025," said Slade. "As a result, gas turbines are now the drivers of choice for the oil and gas industry, particularly the LNG industry."


Slade believes that the annual production of gas turbine machines for mechanical drive duty will increase steadily through the coming decade. This projection is predicated on the enormous worldwide potential for oil and gas production and transport. "The market for the machines will be driven by new, large-scale, high-capacity pipeline and FPSO construction," said Slade.  "So expect to see continued demand for these high-powered aeroderivative machines."

Production is expected to reach a high of 295 units in 2025, before leveling off slightly in the out-years. In terms of value of production, Solar Turbines will lead the field, with a 37.4 percent share, followed by Siemens (23.2 percent) and GE Energy (20.7 percent).

Slade points out that the dynamic growth of the oil and gas industry, especially LNG, has resulted in the use of very complex and high-technology mechanical drive turbomachinery for pumping, compressor, and refrigeration service. Expansion of the the oil and gas segment is forecast to reach a 12 percent industry growth rate by the end of the decade. Slade cautions, however, that increased mechanical drive capacity will not be reflected by parallel growth in the number of machines procured, since power output per turbine is increasing faster than the aggregate demand for added power.