Deepwater technology advancements could be quicker

Over the past few decades, technology advancements have been made for water depths over six to eight times those envisioned in the 1990s.

Tracy Dulle, Technology Editor,
Surface Systems & Vessels

HOUSTON -- Over the past few decades, technology advancements have been made for water depths over six to eight times those envisioned in the 1990s. The need for and assessment of economically developing hydrocarbon resources in even deeper water was discussed today by Baljit Singh of Repsol at the 20th Deep Offshore Technology conference and exhibition in Houston.

"To imagine we've reached the boundaries of technology would be a fallacy," said Singh. Water depth is key, but can be challenging, and as companies continue venturing into deeper water, rigs and pipelines gets bigger, he added.

But technology is not advancing at the pace it could be, he said.

"We're not trying new things," he said, even though the challenges of deepwater are just beginning. Technology will be key, and the most important challenge is reducing the time to first hydrocarbon, Singh said. There is also a need for more collaboration between companies to allow technology to advance quicker.

The requirements of ultra deepwater developments in the future and the resulting modifications and advancements that need to be made need to be explored, Singh said.

Future technologies to look for include faster seismic processing, dual gradient drilling, seabed drilling (a technology under development at one time, but dropped), and advanced facilities, he said.

02/13/2008

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