50-State Jetta TDI and SportWagen Now on Sale in US
One in Three US Public Schools in Proximity to Major Highways and Pollutants

Shell Perdido Spar Arrives in GOM; Deepest Oil Development in the World

The Perdido spar will bring production in from three fields—Great White, Silvertip and Tobago—with a production design of 130,000 boe/day. Click to enlarge.

The Shell-operated Perdido Regional Development Spar has arrived in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and is currently being secured to the seafloor in 7,816 ft (2,382 m) of water, a process that will take about one month. Perdido will be the deepest oil development in the world, the deepest drilling and production platform in the world and have the deepest subsea well in the world to date. Other partners in the joint venture are BP and Chevron.

Designed to deliver 100,000 barrels of oil and 200 million scf of gas (a total 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent, boe) per day, the Perdido Spar will bring in production from three fields: Great White, Silvertip and Tobago.

When complete, the Perdido spar will be 882 feet (269 m) from the keel to the top of the drilling derrick, with a hull diameter of 118 feet (36 m). The spar will be moored by nine chain and polyester rope mooring lines to the sea bed; 22 wells will be linked to the Perdido Spar above. Oil and gas will be pumped to the surface against the extreme pressure of the deepwater by 1,500 hp electric pumps.

The Paleogene reservoir. Click to enlarge.

These fields are located in 10 Outer Continental Shelf blocks in Alaminos Canyon, approximately 200 miles south of Freeport, TX. This development will provide the first Gulf of Mexico commercial production from a Paleogene reservoir.

The concept for the regional development includes a common processing hub—the Perdido Spar platform—that incorporates drilling capability and functionality to gather, process and export production.

The Perdido development will represent the first application two new key technologies to enable production from ultra deepwater:

  • Full host-scale subsea separating and boosting, which enables improved recovery by removing about 2,000 psi of back pressure from the wells.

  • Wet tree direct vertical access (DVA) wells from a spar. Using a DVA configuration allows a larger number of subsea completions to be accessed by the facility’s rig drilling. The wet tree DVA system will use a single high pressure drilling and completion riser suspended from the host to access 22 subsea trees directly below the host. The configuration will allow the use of a surface blow-out preventer (BOP) for the drilling, completion and later sidetracking of wells. By utilizing a single well slot for accessing the wells beneath the host, the size and cost of the host can be reduced without limiting well count flexibility.

The spar was towed in horizontal position out to its location, then raised upright to float. Click to enlarge.

The spar platform. Spar platforms—named for logs used as buoys in shipping and moored in place vertically—are among the largest offshore platforms in use. The spar does not extend all the way to the seafloor, but instead is tethered to the bottom by a series of cables and lines.

The Perdido spar, built by French oilfield services company Technip, consists of a large-diameter, single vertical cylinder supporting a deck with an open truss with a hard tank bottom. This large cylinder helps stabilize the platform in the water, and allows for movement to absorb the force of a potential hurricane.

The first spar platform in the GOM was installed in September of 1996, with a cylinder measuring 705 feet long and 72 feet in diameter. The platform operated in 1,930 feet of water. The current water depth record for a spar host is 5,610 feet for Dominion’s Devil’s Tower spar, located on Mississippi Canyon Block 773.




Viva American-made energy! Drill here, drill now, pay less!


If we look hard enough and drill deep enough we may find enough oil and gaz for another 50+ years.

It would still be wise to start using more efficient vehicles and HVAC before we get to the last drop.

Of course, biofuels will replace some fossil oil and gaz but we should not count on a one for one easy replacement.


Viva American-made

Uuuhhhh, Shell is Dutch/British.


That's right Anne, and the platform was built by the French. ;^)
More to the point: @ejj
They're drilling deeper than ever before, that does NOT translate to "pay less." It will be 'pay more' if anything. And this rig will only produce 100,000 bblpd while America uses over 20,000,000 bblpd!

The simple fact is you CAN'T drill your way out of this mess, its time to think outside the box.


And this rig will only produce 100,000 bblpd while America uses over 20,000,000 bblpd!

One down, 199 more to go...


This and many other untapped oil fields will not postpone the Peak Oil date!!
We all will have to live using less and less energy from fossil fuels.

"Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist"
Kenneth Boulding


See this:


While dismayed at the thought that deep-drilling might short-circuit the possibility of a greener solution to our looming energy crisis, i'm relieved that there might be more energy in the gulf....any where but the middle east (or venezuela)!

ideally, it will be only a little more oil...enough to prevent economic collapse.

Wishful thinking HarveyD



Don't you think that by reducing fossil fuel consumption by 50% with much more efficient vehicles (HEVs + PHEVs + BEVs) electrified high speed trains, more efficient airplanes, very high efficiency (SEER-25) HVAC and (150 lm/W) lights, electrified ships + accellerated devolpment of non-food bio-fuels, etc we could make the remaining fossil fuels last another half century or more?


"The simple fact is you CAN'T drill your way out of this mess, its time to think outside the box."

And you can't inflate your tires out of it either. We need all the inputs, lots of drilling including, to find a way out of this mess. And the longer the Democrats obstruct drilling, the more painful the consequences will be.


The following is from the film "A Crude Awakening, The Oil Crash":

An unforgettable and shocking wake up call, A CRUDE AWAKENING offers the rock-solid argument that the era of cheap oil is in the past. Relentless and clear-eyed, this intensively-researched film drills deep into the uncomfortable realities of a world that is both addicted to fossil fuels and blissfully UNAWARE of the looming "peak oil" crisis.

Drawing on an international cast of maverick energy experts and thinkers, directors Basel Gelpke and Ray McCormack debunk the conventional wisdom that oil production will continue to climb, and instead stare bleakly at a planet facing economic meltdown and conflict over its most valuable resourse.


Maybe you can't inflate you tires out of this but what if you align you wheels and drive around with a 1/8 full fuel tank. That should do it, right?
Wrong. We need conservation and ALL practical forms of energy to survive this energy crisis.


"We need all the inputs, lots of drilling including, to find a way out of this mess."
Yeah but you got to remember 'this mess' includes Global Warming. And the longer the Republicans take to understand that, the more painful the REAL consequences will be.

There's a reason this site is called the *Green* Car Congress. We have to find ways to use less oil, and also less coal.


@ al_vin:

Republicans do not have to acknowledge global warming to solve our energy crisis....and that's what it is - an energy crisis - NOT a climate crisis. Energy independence ultimately needs to be clean overall, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't allow more offshore drilling. I haven't heard T. Boone Pickens acknowledge global warming - but his $700 Billion-to-hostile-nations-is-an-energy-crisis argument is convincing enough. A holistic approach, that includes more drilling in and around America (and fewer imports of oil) is what we need.



No single oil rig is going to solve the problem... duh that doesn't mean it won't help. The dems are correct we need to develop alt energy. That is correct but what the dems don't understand is the republicans think so too, but with the reality check being that it can't be done overnight And that it will take a lot of money to do it. The less money we send overseas means the more money we keep at home for the coming conversion.

We obviously need an all of the above approach for now.


For years we have been reading about EV's. Where are they? I live for the day when I can see one on the road.


Where is the EV? I live for the day when I see one on the road.


Much like EV's, if you dont start it now you wont have anything in 10 years. if you wait until you have no choice ( like GM ) you may not be around to make it happen. Restricting oil drilling wont force anyone to use alternative fuels when they can make more profit selling oil from somewhere else. Having more oil available may decrease prices later on, or even now if the arabs want to follow their tactics of the '70s and reduce prices until investment in the infrastructure of the future is no longer profitable.

"Viva American-made

Uuuhhhh, Shell is Dutch/British.

Posted by: Anne

That's right Anne, and the platform was built by the French. ;^)"

Viva globalization is more like it. Built and staffed by American workers, and paying royalties and taxes to US state and federal govt.

Expect Petrobras to replicate top this (in one form or another) in the Santos basin.

___A reason these energy companies are pounding to open up these offshore fields is the energy nationalism that has emerged over the past decade. These companies had easy access to oil and gas fields during the 90's. Its no longer the case, with countries demanding a bigger slice in the profits and at times nationalizing assets. National champions, like Gazprom, have become tools in geopolitics as energy prices increased since the bottom of 1998-1999. Offshore US is one area left that is relatively friendly to petroleum companies.

___It is as much political peak oil as geological peak oil. Additionally, most of the spare capacity can't be used, unless you want to build up a reserve for future refineries/refinery capacity that can handle heavy sour crude.

___Shell, BP, and other oil companies are locked out of many of the fields, and have declining reserves. They have few places (traditional and unconventional) to throw their billion at that can sustain their output. Look for a big push into renewables in the years ahead. The Europeans will push for renewables as a way to decrease energy dependence on Russia. A large component may be to push their companies to use their profits (BP, Shell, Total, StatoilHydro) .


last comments were mine.

Cont. from before:

___American oil companies may do something similar as incentives for renewables/alternatives meet the limited options for growth in traditional and unconventional fields.

___Pemex needs to find a way to recover lost revenue from plummeting output from Canarell. If they can't, Mexico - government revenue is ~40% Pemex sourced - will be in a very tough position, especially because of their drug war vs the cartels. It is another thing for the next US administration (Obama or McCain)to watch.

Roger Brown

"We need all the inputs, lots of drilling including, to find a way out of this mess."

If by "a way out of this mess", you mean a way to keep the stock market and the banking system 'healthy' as that word is defined in neoclassical economics then you are living in a dream world. The only way back to true economic health lies through learning to live with ecological modesty. If we do not reject the growth paradigm then not even cheap fusion power (hot or cold) could save us from eventual collapse.


Very well said Roger Brown !!

And there is something more disturbing than geological Peak Oil; Geopolitical disruptions:



The Newfoundland Canada HEBRON 200 000 barrels/day offshore platforms have been approved and will be going up within about 3 years and will pump for 25+ years. More will come latter.

Combined with Alberta's tar sands, it seems that Canada will not run out of oil for another 100+ years.

Worldwide Peak oil may be around soon but not in Canada.

Henry Gibson

Now is the time to build nuclear reactors in remote un-inhabited islands where law suits won't multiply the construction costs ten times. The entire electrical output would be devoted to producing ammonia, aluminium or magnesium. The ammonia can be shipped in liquid form for fuel or as ammonium nitrate for fertilizer. In the US the ammonia could be combined with CO2 to make liquid fuels.

A proposed nuclear powerplant in Florida has a cost ten times one just built in China. Nuclear heat is much cheaper than solar heat because the collector can be much smaller. Converting nuclear heat to liquid fuels is a source of infinite energy.

Plug in hybrid-Electric vehicles can displace much or even most liquid fuel needs. The unused energy in existing depleted uranium and "used" fuel rods, could supply the US with all the energy it uses for a hundred years without any major new ideas or inventions.

As it is done now, one (1) pound of mined uranium can supply the same energy as does 10,000 pounds of coal. With known and operating processes, this can be increased by a factor of one hundred and much more.

Nuclear power plants need to be built immediatly alongside tar-sand, oil-shale, Coal-to-Liquid, Gas-to-Liquid, bio-ethanol factories and oil refineries to substitute low carbon, low cost heat for fossil heat.

An undersea cable has been built to supply much electricity to a Norwegian production platform, and the same should be done for this platform.

Oil has been cheap and convenient, but the US government has taken actions and omitted other actions to allow uncontrolled speculation to drive the price very high. It is well known that there is no free market in oil and therefore no speculation of any kind should be allowed. ..HG..

The comments to this entry are closed.