Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Ultra Deepwater Dry Tree System for Drilling and Production in the Gulf of Mexico, Phase 1
Houston Offshore Engineering (HOE), Houston, TX 77079
Keppel Fels, Singapore 629351
Kiewit Offshore Services, Houston, TX 77064
Offshore Technology and Research Center, College Station, TX 77845
This document describes Houston Offshore Engineering’s proposal for the research and development project, “Ultra Deepwater Dry Tree System for Drilling and Production in the Gulf of Mexico.” The principal technical staff proposed for the project includes Jun Zou (PhD, Manager of Naval Architecture), responsible for global configuration, global performance analysis and model test execution, and Shan Shi (PhD, Manager of Riser Systems), responsible for riser configuration, riser analysis and riser systems integration. Philip Poll (Manager of Projects) will provide overall project direction and coordination.
The primary objective of the proposed work scope is to develop a floating system concept that is suitable for drilling and production in ultra deepwater using dry trees. A second, equally important objective is to perform engineering, testing and other activities to mature the concept so that the technology is ready for implementation by oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico. This commercialization objective is very important because without this step, the research and development does not provide any strategic benefit to the oil and gas industry or the United States government.
The project execution plan for this development program incorporates critical subcontracts to bring world-class expertise in the areas of hull constructability (Keppel Fels), topsides fabrication and integration (Kiewit Offshore) and model test facilities (Offshore Technology and Research Center). The combined team incorporates all the expertise necessary to ensure that the results of the research and development is a concept that will meet all functional requirements and can be built, integrated and installed using conventional facilities.
The potential impact of the project is tremendous. The benefits of dry tree development of oil and gas include increased total reserve recovery and lower cost access for well workover and maintenance. Without dry tree access, oil and gas production becomes subject to availability and cost of mobile offshore drilling units, which in the current market are difficult and expensive to contract. The existing dry tree concept for deepwater includes significant challenges and risks, including offshore integration, limited and congested wellbay area, and limited facilities for hull fabrication and transportation. A new dry tree system for ultra deepwater Gulf of Mexico has the potential to increase total reserve recovery for the United States and lower the overall cost for extracting hydrocarbons from beneath the sea floor.