HOUSTON – Chris Golden, senior vice president at Equinor, discussed taming deepwater development costs in the Americas at the Offshore Technology Conference on Wednesday.
While the industry has made strides in changing the cost structure of deepwater in a low oil price environment, more needs to be done, he said as speaker in the ‘Coming to Americas’ panel session.
He said that for the industry to sustain this cost reset – with breakeven prices in the mid-$30s – simplification, standardization, and digitalization are key.
“I believe the Americas are well placed to sustain structural improvement,” Golden said. “We have a diversity of company mix, culture of innovation, and strength of supply chain.”
Even though technology development comes at a cost, he said, future efficiency of these technologies will create value to the deepwater industry. For example, digitalization of work processes, advanced analytics, and robotics and remote-control capabilities.
According to Golden, through digital solutions and visual technologies Equinor anticipates a “Field of the Future” concept for deepwater development. This has the potential, he said, to reduce capex by 30%, opex by 50%, and drilling expenditure by 15%.
“We envision a blue-sky concept of creating more than $2 billion of value,” he said, “of ultimately a totally unmanned ultra-deepwater facility in the future.”
In addition, Golden said mainly the deepwater Gulf of Mexico offers infrastructure-led exploration and development. This not only improves development of subsea tieback technology but also offers opportunities to improve seismic times, reduce capex, and de-risk exploration prospects, he said.
Since the Americas have deepwater basins of different geological maturity, he pointed out, it allows operators to take a portfolio approach.
“I believe coming and staying here in the Americas is a good business decision,” Golden said.