Award-winning projects

Selecting the winners of this year's Five Star Award – the Top 5 offshore field development projects – was no easy task.

David Paganie • Houston

Selecting the winners of this year's Five Star Award – the Top 5 offshore field development projects – was no easy task. The geographic distribution of candidates stretched from the Americas to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Technological innovation was widespread as well. After careful consideration, a consensus has been reached.

In no particular order, the Top 5 offshore field development projects of 2011 are:

Nord Stream: With the completion of Line 1, developers of the €7.4-billion ($10-billion) Nord Stream project have realized the ambitious goal of moving Russian gas to European markets directly through the Baltic Sea. First announced in 2001, the project calls for the construction of two parallel 759-mi, 48-in. pipelines that will move natural gas from Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany. The Nord Stream consortium includes Gazprom, Wintershall, E.ON Ruhrgas, Gasunie, and GDF SUEZ.

Bruce Beaubouef, managing editor, gives the full details in his report beginning on page 30.

Pazflor: The Pazflor field offshore Angola boasts a number of firsts. Foremost among them is that it is the first-ever project to deploy a development plan based on gas/liquid separation at the mudline spanning several reservoirs. This technological innovation is what will make it possible to produce the heavy, viscous oil contained in three of the four reservoirs in this gigantic development in the Angolan deep offshore. Pazflor, operated by French oil company Total, lies 150 km (93 mi) off Luanda in water depths ranging from 600 to 1,200 m (1,968 – 3,937 ft) and has estimated proved and probable reserves of 590 MMbbl.

The project is described in detail byEldon Ball, senior editor, technology & economics, beginning on page 32.

Karan: Saudi Aramco's $8-billion Karan gas field project offshore Saudi Arabia is the first-ever non-associated gas development in the country. Currently, five wells are flowing 120 MMcf/d on the way to a design capacity of 1.8 bcf/d by 2013. The field produces gas via a 110-km (68-mi) long subsea pipeline to the onshore Khursaniyah process facility. Plans call for approximately 20 total wells spread over four production platforms that tie in to a main platform with associated electrical power, communications, and remote monitoring and controls.

The project report byGene Kliewer, technology editor, subsea & seismic, begins on page 34.

Peregrino: The achievement of first oil from the Statoil-operated Peregrino heavy oil field in Brazil in April marked a major milestone for the operator. It is the first field to be brought onstream by the company in Brazil and its largest operated field outside of Norway. And by bringing Peregrino's 14ºAPI crude to the surface, Statoil provided convincing testimony of its heavy oil expertise.

See the full report byNick Terdre, contributing editor, beginning on page 36.

Who Dat: Discovered in December 2007, the LLOG Exploration-operated Who Dat field lies in an average water depth of 3,200 ft (975 m) in Mississippi Canyon blocks 503, 504, and 547, in the Gulf of Mexico. Three wells – two in MC 503 and one in MC 547 – have been completed, with 10 more infill wells to be drilled and completed in the coming months using the semisubmersible rig Noble Amos Runner. Notable achievements for the field development include the first use of the OPTI-EX design; the first use of an FPU built "on spec;" and the first use of a privately owned FPU.

Jessica Tippee, assistant editor, gives a detailed report beginning on page 38.

Congratulations to all of our winners for their contribution to the successful application of new and innovative technology. More information on the award-winning projects is available in a special webcast hosted on theOffshore magazine homepage:

If you would like to nominate a project for 2012, please send me a short description of it and a paragraph to support your recommendation.

The projects are 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. Only projects that are expected have first production in 2012 will be considered.

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