Technip Wins Spar Hull and Mooring Contract for Shell's Perdido Project

Shell Offshore Inc. has awarded Technip a contract to provide the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a Spar hull and mooring system for the Perdido Regional Host Project. A Spar is a cylindrical, partially submerged offshore drilling and production platform that is particularly well adapted to deepwater.

The project is located in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 200 miles south of Freeport (Texas). Moored in about 8,000 feet of water, the record breaking Spar will be the deepest spar production facility in the world and the first with DVA (direct vertical access), which will reduce the drilling cost, simplify workovers and facilitate access to subsea equipment. First production from Perdido is expected around the turn of the decade, with the facility capable of handling 130,000 boe/d.

As oil consumption grows and access to most oil-rich regions like the U.S. Gulf of Mexico becomes increasingly restricted due to ultra-deep water (8000 feet plus), Shell has chosen Technip to provide the Spar production facility over the traditional semi-submersible production platform. Following the worst hurricane season on record in the Gulf of Mexico, the existing offshore Spar production facilities have proven their robust design, and confirmed the Spar's unique features and benefits even during extreme hurricane conditions.

The Perdido Regional Host will be the fourteenth Spar delivered by Technip, and is in a water depth that is nearly a half of a mile deeper than any other Spar.

Shell's concept for regional development includes a common processing hub in Alaminos Canyon Block 857 near the Great White discovery that incorporates drilling capability and functionality to gather, process and export production within a 30-mile radius of the facility. This concept will provide regional synergies, reduced cost and lower risk. This regional concept will also reduce the number and size of the facilities and operations in this challenging frontier area, resulting in a lower environmental impact than would otherwise be achieved.

This contract covers:

  • Spar hull and mooring system design and fabrication, load out onto a transportation vessel, transportation and quayside delivery at a yard of the Gulf of Mexico,
  • Design of the steel catenary risers, top tension risers and umbilicals. A riser is a pipe or assembly of flexible or rigid pipes used to transfer produced fluids from the seabed to surface facilities, and transfer injection or control fluids from the surface facilities to the seabed. An umbilical is an assembly of hydraulic hoses which can also include electrical cables or optic fibers, used to control subsea structures from a platform or a vessel.

Technip's operations and engineering center in Houston, Texas, will provide the overall project management, and the global engineering for the hull and mooring system, as well as engineering and procurement support for the riser tensioner system. The detailed hull design and fabrication will be carried out by Technip's yard in Pori (Finland), where previous Spar projects were all delivered on time.

The Perdido Regional Host will develop the three fields operated by Shell in this area of the Gulf of Mexico:

  • Great White, jointly owned by Shell (33.34%), Chevron (33.33%) and BP (33.33%),
  • Tobago, owned by Shell (32.5%), Chevron (57.5%), and Nexen (10%),
  • Silvertip, owned by Shell (40%) and Chevron (60%).
  • The Perdido Regional Host will be jointly owned by Shell (35%), Chevron (37.5%) and BP (27.5%).

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