Safety, efficiency top agenda at Deepwater Operations conference

As energy demand increases over the next several years, deepwater will play a greater role in the world’s energy mix.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – As energy demand increases over the next several years, deepwater will play a greater role in the world’s energy mix. Analysts at Infield Systems forecast a growth in deepwater’s share of global production to 10% by 2017. But deep- and ultra-deepwater’s share of overall capital expenditures will be 53% of cumulative spending. Operators and service companies face the challenge of substantially improving resource recovery rates and conducting operations in a cost-effective manner, while maintaining the highest safety standards.

The Deepwater Operations Conference and Exhibition, which takes place November 5-7 at the Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center in Galveston, Texas, provides a forum for the exchange of information and experience necessary to address these challenges. Now in its eleventh year, the event covers a range of topics relevant to the deepwater industry. This year’s theme is “Yesterday’s Experience, Tomorrow’s Innovations and Solutions.”

“Our conference objectives are to share learnings, ideas and solutions across deepwater operations,” says Shawn Lurry, Apache Corp. deepwater production superintendent and 2013 chairman of the Deepwater Operations Advisory Board.

Following the exhibit hall networking reception on Tuesday, November 5, Lurry will welcome conference delegates Wednesday during the opening ceremonies. Bob Tippee, editor ofOil & Gas Journal, will deliver the keynote address before the conference sessions get under way. The morning session features first-hand updates on three important recent startups: Anadarko Petroleum’s Caesar-Tonga development in the Gulf of Mexico; the Petrobras-operated Cascade-Chinook FPSO project, also in the Gulf; and Noble Energy’s Tamar gas development offshore Israel, said to be the world’s longest tieback.

Sessions continue under the topic of operational solutions, with scheduled presentations from Anadarko, BHP Billiton, and Chevron. Anadarko’s Steven Ashcraft will discuss a riserless intervention project to install a HPPB valve in a failed closed SCSSV at record depths. Todd Bartham, of BHP Billiton, will follow with insight on improving the reliability of rotating equipment. Chevron’s Wayne Hawkins is scheduled to finish the session with a presentation on process control optimization in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

A third Wednesday session will feature a panel discussion covering key insights from initial SEMS audits related to employee competency. The panel includes representatives from Shell Upstream Americas, Danos, Chevron, and W&T Offshore. As always, Deepwater Operations’ first full day closes with a popular networking reception in the exhibition hall.

Thursday’s agenda kicks off with a session dedicated to regulatory issues, with Anthony Pesek of the US Coast Guard providing an overview of current regulatory and policy initiatives affecting deepwater operations in the US. The session continues with a look at the integrity management drivers surrounding the conversion, installation and operation of the Gulf of Mexico’s first FPSO, at the Cascade-Chinook development.

Emergency Management presentations dominate the second half of the morning. Noble Energy will describe lessons learned during the deployment of the Helix Well Containment Group capping stack in May, followed by a Chevron presentation on managing logistical challenges in deepwater operations. Marine Well Containment Corp. CEO Martin Massey will follow with an update on the organization’s capping stack technology, the lessons learned during its development, and its implications for further technology advances.

The conference wraps up with a panel session that looks at how recent safety regulations are being implemented. Industry vet Allen Verret will provide a scene-setting address, which will be followed by presentations and a panel discussion featuring representatives from Anadarko, Chevron, BHP Billiton, and Shell.

The PennWell Corp. event closes with a popular awards ceremony and prize-drawing.

For more information and to download an event guide, please visit the Deepwater Operations Conference and Exhibition site

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