Chevron announces first oil from Big Foot Project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico; deepest tension leg platform
Chevron Corporation announced that the Chevron-operated Big Foot deepwater project, located in the US Gulf of Mexico, has started crude oil and natural gas production. The field is located approximately 225 miles (360 km) south of New Orleans, La., in a water depth of approximately 5,200 feet (1,584 m).
The Chevron-operated Big Foot project (co-owners are Statoil and Marubeni) uses a 15-slot drilling and production tension-leg platform—the deepest of its kind in the world—and is designed for a capacity of 75,000 barrels of oil and 25 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
A tension-leg platform (TLP) is a buoyant platform held in place by a mooring system. The buoyancy of the hull offsets the weight of the platform, requiring clusters of tight tendons, or tension legs, to secure the structure to a foundation on the seabed, which is kept stationary by piles driven into the seabed.
The mooring system allows for horizontal movement with wave disturbances, but does not permit vertical (bobbing) movement.
Chevron selected the ETLP, FloaTEC’s proprietary design, as the optimum floating production system for this field development. FloaTEC was contracted to provide detailed design of the hull and mooring system.
The Big Foot field was discovered in 2006, is estimated to contain total recoverable resources of more than 200 million oil-equivalent barrels and has a projected production life of 35 years.