Chevron has opted for FloaTEC’s extended tension leg platform (ETLP) for its Big Foot development in Walker Ridge block 29 in 5,000 ft (1,524 m) of water.

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David Paganie • Houston

Chevron selects ETLP for Big Foot

Chevron has opted for FloaTEC’s extended tension leg platform (ETLP) for its Big Foot development in Walker Ridge block 29 in 5,000 ft (1,524 m) of water.

According to Chevron: “A dry tree development scenario with a full platform drilling rig was selected for the proposed Big Foot project as it will enable in-well artificial lift and timely intervention capabilities. Also, all wells, producers, and injectors can be drilled from a single drill center. The ETLP is well suited for a dry tree scenario and its mooring system allows optimal placement of the drill center in the challenging seafloor conditions such as the one found in the deep waters of the GoM.”

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Enbridge plans to extend the GoM’s deepwater pipeline grid to transport oil from Big Foot and natural gas from St. Malo, Jack, and Big Foot.

Meanwhile, Enbridge has signed a letter of intent with Chevron USA, Statoil Gulf of Mexico, and Marubeni Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. to construct and operate a 40-mi (64-km), 20-in. diameter oil pipeline from Big Foot. Enbridge already had announced plans to construct the Walker Ridge Gathering System to move natural gas production from the Chevron-operated Jack, St. Malo, and Big Foot fields.

Chevron has initiated front-end engineering and design of a new hub to develop the Jack and St. Malo discoveries. The semisubmersible design platform, with capacity to process 120,000-150,000 b/d of oil and 37.5 MMcf/d of gas, and provision for a future 200,000 b/d of water injection, will be moored in 7,000 ft (2,134 m) of water. Mustang won the contract for topsides FEED, with completion expected in 2Q 2010.

The Big Foot pipeline will be installed in up to 5,900 ft (1,798 m) of water, with capacity to transport 100,000 b/d of oil to a subsea connection on existing deepwater pipeline infrastructure. The Walker Ridge Gathering System, designed to move 100 MMcf/d of natural gas, comprises 190 mi (306 km) of 8-12-in. (20-30-cm) diameter pipeline for installation in up to 7,000 ft (2,134 m) of water.

S-lay installation of the pipelines is anticipated to begin mid-2012 for completion by the end of that year.

Enbridge estimates the cost of the Big Foot pipeline at $250 million. Combined with the Walker Ridge Gathering System, Big Foot brings total Enbridge investment for the projects to $750 million.

In other pipeline news, ArcLight Capital Partners, through its wholly owned affiliate Offshore Infrastructure Partners, has acquired the oil and natural gas pipelines that service the Gomez Hub for $78 million from ATP Oil & Gas.

The 28-mi (45-km) pipeline can transport up to 25,000 b/d of oil to the Amberjack pipeline system. The 28-mi (45-km) gas pipeline can transport up to 100 MMcf/d of natural gas to the Discovery Gas Pipeline.

ATP will remain the operator of Mississippi Canyon block 711 and will remain the operator of both pipelines.

Deepwater Horizon contract extended

A subsidiary of BP has awarded Transocean a three-year contract extension for the semisubmersible drilling rigDeepwater Horizon. The extension, which covers operations in the GoM, begins in September 2010.

Capable of operating in water depths up to 10,000 ft (3,048 m), the semisub entered service in 2001 and recently set the world record for the deepest oil and gas well at TVD of 35,050 ft (10,683 m), drilled for BP.

BP taps Technip, Aker for deepwater work

BP has awarded Technip a lump-sum contract for the Isabela subsea tieback toNa Kika in up to 6,300 ft (1,920 m) of water. The contract covers project management, engineering, fabrication, and installation of pipe-in-pipe flowlines, steel catenary risers, and subsea equipment.

The flowlines and risers will be welded at Technip’s spoolbase in Mobile, Alabama. Offshore installation is scheduled for completion in 3Q 2010 using Technip’s deepwater pipelay vesselDeep Blue.

BP also has awarded Aker Solutions a contract for subsea construction at the Atlantis and Thunder Horse fields.

The scope of work comprises planning and installation of subsea hardware including manifolds, PLEMs, jumpers, flying leads, and related equipment. The work, scheduled to start in the fourth quarter, will be done in water depths between 1,600 and 2,000 m (5,249 and 6,562 ft). Aker Solutions’ construction vesselsBOA Sub C and BOA Deep C will carry out the installation work.

World’s largest stim vessel launched

BJ Services is launching a new stimulation vessel namedBlue Dolphin for oil and gas wells in the Lower Tertiary and other GoM formations. The vessel is designed to provide 20,000 psi (138 MPa) working pressure via multiple reeled flexible umbilical lines. It can perform large-volume, high-pressure stimulation operations for multi-zone or multi-well operations.

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BJ Services’ new stim vessel Blue Dolphin will join the company’s fleet this winter following sea trials. Photo courtesy of BJ Services.

The vessel features a DP-2 dynamic positioning system and will receive well stimulation/offshore support vessel class notation, certified by ABS. It is equipped with eight skid-mounted 3,000 bhp Gorilla fracturing units and storage capacity for 2.75 million lb of proppant. It can provide up to 23,000 hhp and 80 bbl/min (12.7 cu m/min) blending rates to meet high-rate fracturing and stimulation requirements of ultra deepwater projects. Measuring 300 ft (91 m) in length, the multipurpose vessel includes additional storage for up to 11,800 bbl (1,875 cu m) of fluids or completion brines, 12,600 gal (47.7 cu m) of raw acid, and 6,300 gal (23.8 cu m) of solvent.

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