The editors ofOffshore magazine have selected five projects that exemplify best-in-class among those that recently achieved first production. Offshore’s Top 5 Projects for 2015 were selected on the basis of best use of innovation in production method, application of technology, and resolution of challenges, along with safety, environmental protection, and project execution. Interestingly, two of the projects employ a variation of the “design one, build two” approach, which is rapidly gaining momentum as project developers seek to improve efficiencies.
In no particular order, the winners are:
Chevron and partners produced first oil late last year from the Jack/St. Malo project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Jack and St. Malo fields are among the largest in the GoM, and are part of its Lower Tertiary Trend. The fields were developed with subsea completions tied back to a single host, semisubmersible floating production unit (FPU) moored between the fields. The FPU is the largest of its kind in the GoM. It is fitted with capacity to process 170,000 b/d of oil and 42 MMcf/d of natural gas, with the potential for future expansion. The successful completion of the project was the result of the collaboration of hundreds of suppliers and contractors and thousands of workers across nine countries over a ten-year period.
Anadarko and partners achieved first oil from Lucius in the Gulf of Mexico in January of this year, about three years from project sanction. The full cycle time from discovery to first production was five years, about 10 months faster than the industry average of spar projects. Moored in 7,100 ft (2,164 m) of water, Lucius is Anadarko’s largest spar to-date. It produces from multiple resource-rich fields spanning Keathley Canyon blocks 874, 875, 918, and 919. The Anadarko-led consortium made several decisions throughout the project development cycle that resulted in sizeable savings in both time and money.
The LLOG-operated Delta House development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico flowed first oil in the second quarter of this year. Prompted by an expiring lease, the privately held operator initiated platform design even before a discovery was made. And it was based on its “one-size-fits-most” approach, which would enable it to work within a range of reservoir characteristics. The Delta House host semisubmersible floating production platform is moored in about 4,500 ft (1,372 m) of water. It is designed with capacity to handle 100,000 b/d of oil, 240 MMcf/d of gas, and 40,000 b/d of water.
In mid-September of this year, the world’s first subsea compression station began operating at the Åsgard production complex in the Norwegian Sea. The technology is designed to boost pressure at the Midgard and Mikkel fields that export gas and condensate to the Åsgard B semisubmersible processing platform nearly 40 km (25 mi) away. In the process, Statoil expects to extend the fields’ lives out to 2032, thereby extracting a further 306 MMboe of production.
Cardón IV SA., a 50/50 joint operating company between Repsol and Eni, started production from the Perla gas field in the Gulf of Venezuela in July of this year. Located in the Cardón IV block 50 km (31 mi) offshore in 60 m (197 ft) water depth, Perla is estimated to hold up to 17 tcf of gas in place, or 3.1 Bboe. The project partners believe Perla represents the largest offshore gas field in Latin America, and also the first gas field to be brought to production offshore Venezuela.