A Quick Tour of Perdido, the World’s Deepest Offshore Production Platform [VIDEO]

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Perdido is the world’s deepest offshore oil drilling and production platform. Moored in 2,450 metres (8,000 feet) of water in the Gulf of Mexico, this spar gathers, processes and exports produced hydrocarbons within a 48-kilometre (30-mile) radius.

Technology

Operated by Shell, with JV partners Chevron (37.5%) and BP (27.5%), the spar acts as a hub for and enables development of three fields – Great White, Tobago, and Silvertip.  The oil and gas fields beneath the platform lie in a geological formation holding resources estimated at 3-15 billion barrels of oil equivalent according to a report by the BSEE, formerly known as the MMS.

At peak production, Perdido processes 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, and 200 million cubic feet of gas.

Storm protection

Powerful storms pose serious technical challenges to offshore production platforms. In 2008, three quarters of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico had to be suspended because of hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The Perdido spar’s nine mooring lines are designed to withstand the type of storm likely to occur once in 1,000 years, such as the most destructive hurricane in US history, Katrina.

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Perdido is transported on board the Mighty Servant, image: Shell
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Perdido is being installed into its final position, image: Shell

Current developments

The Perdido spar was constructed by Technip in Pori, Finland and began its 13,200-kilometre (8,202-mile) journey to Texas in May 2008, arriving in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2008 on the Mighty Servant, a heavy-lift transport ship owned by Dockwise.

The 170-metre (555-foot) cylindrical spar was secured to the sea floor and Shell completed the installation of the drilling and production platform on top of it. Around 270 staff living on the platform and an adjacent floating hotel, or flotel, completed the commissioning and hook-up required to produce first oil.

There are 22 direct vertical access wells from the spar, with an additional 13 tiebacks from subsea completions. The Perdido hull is nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower and weighs the same as 10,000 large family cars.

The Noble Clyde Boudreaux platform drilled the production wells.  In November 2011, FMC Technologies, Inc. announced that its enhanced vertical deepwater tree (EVDT) system set a new world deepwater completion record of 9,627 feet at the Shell-operated Tobago Field.