Crowley tugs have Anadarko’s 12,000 ton oil and gas processing facility under tow today as they head east toward the center of the Gulf of Mexico and the location of the already installed Lucius Spar at Keathley Canyon block 875.
Once fully commissioned, Anadarko’s Lucius spar facility, located approximately 340 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas, will produce upwards of 80,000 barrels of oil per day and 450 million cubic feet of natural gas from a series of wells located over 7,000 feet below the surface of the ocean.
The following video illustrates the installation and setting of Lucius’ sub-cellar deck, which creates the platform on which the facility topsides will soon sit.
THE TRUSS SPAR
In November 2013, three of Crowley’s Ocean-class tugs, the Ocean Wind, Ocean Wave and Ocean Sun, towed the spar from Corpus Christi, Texas, through the Ingleside Channel and out to Keathley Canyon Block 875 some 300 miles offshore.
Crowley tugs, Pilot and Warrior, towing heavy-lift series barges 455 5 and 455 9, followed the successful trio with 20,000 tons of dry ballast materials to help lower Lucius into the water during installation.
The Lucius Truss Spar measures 184m (605ft) long, 34m (110ft) in diameter, and weighs in at around 23,000 tons. Technip won the engineering, construction, and transportation contract in 2011.
Earlier last year between 30 April and 26 May, the spar made the voyage from Technip’s yard at Pori, Finland to Ingleside, Texas onboard Dockwise’s heavy lift vessel, Mighty Servant 1.
The spar was towed to location and anchored to the sea floor via suction piles which, instead of mechanically digging into the earth with flukes, these anchors use suction pressure to enable a tight grip on the sea floor. Essentially, a large-diameter hollow pipe is lowered to the sea floor with a vent at the top. Once the pipe is sitting vertially on the seabed, the vent is closed and a suction is put on the inside of the pipe via a pump, This negative internal pressure causes the pipe to sink into the mud until it’s fully seated. The pump is then stopped, all valves are closed, and the suction anchor is set. For many deepwater oil fields worldwide, this is the preferred type of anchor.
After installing the topsides, commissioning of all the production systems will begin. Anadarko and their JV partners Plains Exploration & Production Company (23.3%), Exxon Mobil Corporation (15%), Apache Deepwater (11.7%), Petrobras (9.6%) and Eni Petroleum (5.4%) plan first oil in 2014.
The Lucius field was discovered in December 2009 by the Ensco 8500 semisubmersible drilling rig.