Seillean, (Gaelic for Honey Bee) as it will go from well to well collecting the remnants of oil, as a bee collects nectar.
Laid down 18th September 1986
Floated in 1987 she was described “as the most sophisticated merchant vessel in the World”, categorised as a SWOPS vessel which stood for "Single-well oil-production system"
Harland and Wolff was the first company in the world to design and construct a fully dynamically positioned floating production, storage and transport vessel for marginal oilfield development - the Seillean, for BP Exploration. Designed and built in the late 1980's, Seillean has been fully operational since the beginning of 1990.
The Seillean was originally developed by BP in the mid-late 1980's to perform production, storage and transportation operations on the various marginal field developments BP had in their North Sea portfolio at that time. Their principal reasoning for selecting a dynamically positioned FPSO was to provide a production vessel with the level of flexibility and self-sufficiency deemed suitable for operating at different water depth locations for relatively short durations.
BP Shipping took delivery of the Seillean in 1989 and operated the vessel first on Cyrus, (production start - April 1990), and then on Donan (where the Seillean started producing during April 1992).
As a consequence of BP's drive in the mid 1990's to streamline their business and focus on core activities, the Seillean was sold in 1993 to Reading & Bates, who continued operating the ship for BP.
In 1997-1998 the Seillean was upgraded to work in deepwater, which was off the coast of Brazil.
In 1998 Reading & Bates were on the verge of signing a contract with Premier Oil for development of the central North Sea marginal field Chestnut when Petrobras approached them regarding their requirement in Brazil for an early production system (EPS) on the Roncador field. Reading & Bates opted for the Brazil opportunity and secured a lucrative six-year production contract with Petrobras, which can be cancelled by Petrobras after four years, subject to certain conditions. This provision was included because Petrobras did not know if the Seillean would perform as well as it has.
Operations under this contract started in January 1999. Transocean took over R&B and Seillean remained with them until 2002, then Frontier Drilling became the new Seillean owners. The contract had a six-year term that started 28 November 1998. The contract was firm for a duration of four years and thereafter the contract could be cancelled by Petrobras at any time on 90 days notice.
Frontier Drilling do Brasil Ltda established it's operations office in Brasil, in the first part of 2003. Seillean was modified enabling her to process heavier crude (API 17). This positioned the Seillean as a unique FPSO in the heavy crude deepwater market.
With the purchase of Frontier Drilling in 2010, FPSO Seillean was acquired by Noble Corporation. She was renamed Noble Seillean and her flag was changed from Panama to Liberia.