Chevron Taps FloaTEC for Big Foot ETLP

Walker Ridge & Green Canyon Fields
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Chevron is pushing ahead with its plans for an Extended Tension Leg Platform (ETLP) on its deepwater Big Foot development in the US Gulf of Mexico by awarding FloaTEC, a deepwater joint venture between Keppel FELS and J. Ray McDermott, the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) contract.

The operator issued the FEED award to the contractor for the hull, mooring and risers for the proposed dry tree drilling and production facility. FloaTEC secured the award with its innovative ETLP proposal for the hull design.

Chevron will reportedly sanction the official project in the fourth quarter of 2010, after completion of the FEED process, followed by a competitive tender for the engineering phase. First oil at Big Foot is on track to commence in 2013.

FloaTEC will more than likely have the ETLP hull built in SE Asia, with the topsides integration to take place at a US yard. The contractor will provide engineering and project management services to develop the design, specify the required marine systems equipment and optimize the hull, tendons and risers global design, perform the necessary structural analyses, and ensure close interface management towards subsea and topside scopes under Chevron's overall project leadership.

FloaTEC will also assist Chevron in estimating the cost of the facility and plan the subsequent phases of the development. Work on the project is already underway.

Eric H. Namtvedt, President, FloaTEC, said, "We are very pleased to see our ETLP designs continue to offer superior value to Gulf of Mexico operators and to be given the opportunity to work alongside an industry leader such as Chevron. I am confident that FloaTEC, with the support from our JV parents Keppel and McDermott, will provide access to unique and large resources and capabilities and execute a quality FEED for our client."

Big Foot sits in Walker Ridge Block 29 some 35 miles south of Chevron's Tahiti field, with the platform to be installed in a water depth of 5,187ft (1,581m). The field is operated by Chevron (60%), with its partners being Statoil GoM (27.5%) and Marubeni Oil & Gas (USA) Inc (12.5%). A Big Foot-2 appraisal well in 2007 hit 300ft (91m) of net oil pay, with an appraisal last year on Big Foot-3 confirming the same pay intervals.

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