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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Comments

HarveyD

HG:

Is it possible that free market would quickly manipulate the price of electric energy (Enron style), the same way or even worse than we have seen with oil price? Can you imagine $1/KWh?

Would it be more acceptable to be manupilated with clean energy than dirty oil?

What could be done to prevent it?

HarveyD

HG:

Is it possible that free market would quickly manipulate the price of electric energy (Enron style), the same way or even worse than we have seen with oil price? Can you imagine $1/KWh?

Would it be more acceptable to be manupilated with clean energy than dirty oil?

What could be done to prevent it?

Geologist

peak oil is a scare tactic, There is over 430 billion in technically recoverable reserves in the OCS and deepwater. add in 300 billion left in existing wells in the CONUS and AK, the average recovery rate from existing formations stands at 20% globally; EOR tech has demostrated 70% recovery rates using supercritical fluild techniquies. Globally there is 11 TRILLION BOE in place in conventional formations of which 20% has been tapped. Extra heavy crude and oil sands have 10-8 Trillion BOE in place as well. Using InSitu technologies Canda has tested 80% recovery in a year with RF ground heating and horizontal drilling. The world is in no way shape or form running out of hydrocarbon resources the $5 a barrel stuff is gone forever but at anyprice over $55 all the above technolgies come on line. Any mineralologist will tell you that the reserve to resource line increases 10 fold for every doubling in price this is a law of economic resource recoveries. Put simply double the price of a mineral ANY mineral and 10 times as much resources become reserves. Resources are what is known to be in place and technically recoverable at ANY price, reserves are recoverable at current prices. I should know I am an Exploration Geologist by trade, I do this for a living. Its good to be in the oil industry these days 100+ an hour is not unreasonable and 150 is there for those with 10+ years experience. If all the geologists died today the US university system would take 17 years to replace us so we are very very valuable at this point. Marketing and management can be replaced by the US system in 1 year and 3 years respectivly BTW.

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