The platform for the Chevron-operated Big Foot development project is en route to the Walker Ridge area of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
The dry-tree extended tension-leg platform, which features an onboard drilling rig and production capacity of 75,000 barrels per day of oil and 25 million barrels per day of natural gas, was successfully floated through the La Quinta Ship Channel in Corpus Christi late Friday.
The Big Foot platform will be installed approximately 225 miles south of New Orleans in 5,200 feet (2,600 meters) of water. According to SubseaIQ, the Big Foot field is located on Walker Ridge Block 29.
Offshore hook-up and commissioning work will begin once the platform is safely anchored to the ocean floor. Development well drilling and completion work will follow.
The platform is expected to reach the installation site about eight to 10 days following its departure from Corpus Christi. The platform’s hull was manufactured in South Korea; the topsides were fabricated in Ingleside, Texas. Chevron reported that the platform would be able to accommodate up to 200 people.
Chevron sanctioned development of the Big Foot field, which was discovered in 2006, five years ago. The company expects oil and gas production later this year from Big Foot, which is estimated to hold total recoverable resources of more than 200 million oil equivalent barrels and will have an estimated 35-year production life.
Chevron subsidiary Chevron U.S.A. Inc. holds 60 percent working interest in Big Foot. Statoil and Marubeni Oil & Gas are partners with 27.5 percent and 12.5 percent interests, respectively.
The recent sharp drop in crude oil prices resulted in declines in Chevron’s fourth quarter and yearly earnings in 2014 compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, the company had one of its best exploration years in 2014 with important discoveries in the deepwater Gulf and areas such as Australia, West Africa and the Permian Basin, Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson said in a Jan. 30 press statement.
Chevron also boasted a number of operational successes in 2014, with first production from the Jack/St. Malo and Tubular Bells deepwater developments in the Gulf and the Bibiyana gas expansion project in Bangladesh.
Earlier this year, Chevron announced it would work with BP Plc and ConocoPhillips to explore and appraise 24 jointly held offshore leases in the northwest Keathley Canyon area of the deepwater Gulf. The company also announced in January that it had struck oil at the Anchor prospect in the deepwater Gulf.
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