Perdido – overview
Perdido achieved first commercial production in 2010 from a new geological frontier in the US Gulf of Mexico, the Lower Tertiary/Paleogene. The project applied innovation to tackle challenges such as extreme water depth, rugged sea-floor terrain, and low-temperature and low-pressure reservoirs.
Location: Gulf of Mexico, USA
Depth: 2,450 metres (8,000 feet)
Fields: Great White, Tobago, Silvertip
Host platform: Shell 35% (operator), Chevron 37.5%, BP 27.5%
Great White: Shell 33.34% (operator), BP 33.33%, Chevron 33.33%
Sivertip: Chevron 60% and Shell 40% (operator)
Tobago: Shell 32.5% (operator), Nexen 10%, Chevron 30%, Unocal 27.5%
Peak production: 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d)
Key contractors: Technip, Kiewit, FMC Technologies, Heerema Marine Contractors
First oil production: 2010
The Perdido spar moves into place - watch the video
Shell started operating its Perdido production hub in 2010, opening up a new frontier in deep water oil and gas recovery. Perdido features a spar design and is moored in around 2,450 metres (8,000 feet) of water. It is designed to safely withstand hurricane force conditions.
The Perdido spar acts as a production hub for three fields – Great White, Tobago and Silvertip. It gathers, processes and exports oil and gas produced from water depths of around 2,300-2,800 metres (7,500-9,500 feet). The Perdido production hub has the capacity to handle 100,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of gas daily.
Society and environment
For decades, the US Gulf of Mexico has been a heartland of energy production. Thousands of Shell employees and contractors work each day to safely find, develop and produce the Gulf of Mexico’s vast oil and gas resources to help power our lives. Safety is crucial to this work. Across all of Shell’s operations, we strive to achieve what we call Goal Zero – no harm to people or the environment.
Shell has been a part of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast for more than 100 years. We are committed to helping shape a positive future for the region through our business activities, social investment programs and employee volunteer work. We partner with many non-profit organisations to support conservation, education in science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) and economic development projects across the Gulf Coast. Our employees also spend thousands of hours volunteering each year to help rebuild damaged homes, protect and restore Louisiana’s coast, and inspire the state’s next generation of scientists, engineers and leaders.
The Perdido spar was constructed by Technip in Pori, Finland. It began its 13,200-kilometre (8,202-mile) journey to Texas, USA, in May 2008, reaching the Gulf of Mexico in August 2008. The 170-metre (555-feet) cylindrical spar was then moored securely to the sea floor. The Perdido spar’s hull is nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and weighs as much as 10,000 large cars. There are 22 direct vertical access wells from the spar.
The Tobago field, which started production in late 2011, set a world water depth record: a subsea well 2,934 metres (9,626 feet) below the water’s surface. This eclipsed the previous subsea water depth well record of 2,852 metres (9,356 feet), which Shell set at the Silvertip field in the Gulf of Mexico.
A long history of deep-water development
Perdido spar moves into place 200 miles off the Texas coast
On 18 August 2008 the Shell-operated Perdido Regional Development Spar arrived in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and is being secured to the seafloor in about 8,000 feet of water. Perdido will be the deepest oil development in the world, the deepest drilling and production platform in the world and have the deepest subsea well in the world.
Perdido will be a fully functional oil and gas platform with a drilling rig and direct vertical access wells, full oil and gas processing and remote subsea wells. The facility is designed to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day and 200 million standard cubic feet of gas. The production from these fields will be transported via new and existing pipelines to US refineries.
[Words on screen]
Perdido spar moves into place
Gulf of Mexico
200 miles off the Texas coast
August 18, 2008
Voiced News Story
The Perdido spar was towed 160 nautical miles in just under two days to its final work site. An area called Alaminos Canyon block 857 in the Gulf of Mexico.
The big spar, 550 feet long and 118 feet in diameter, arrived floating on its side. The task was to up-end it, rotating it from a horizontal to a vertical floating position. It took dozens of people from Herema’s deep-water construction vessel, Baldor, working non-stop for nearly 24 hours. Once in place, tugboats pulled rip-out plugs from the spars bottom tanks. Sea water rushed in and after two hours had flooded the tanks enough to submerge, tipping the giant structure about fifteen degrees. Water was pumped into the tanks through hoses from the Baldor over the next 24 hours filling the tanks until the entire spar floated upright in the water. Next, wielding polyester and chain mooring lines strong enough to hold firm against hurricanes as powerful as Katrina, workers secured the floating giant to previously installed anchor piles in the sea floor nearly 8,000 feet below. It will take a month to fasten all nine mooring lines. During that month the Perdido team and meteorologists will continually monitor the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico for tropical storms and hurricanes and work steadily to secure the spar before another hurricane passes through the southern Gulf.
[Bert Ulbricht, P.E., Offshore Coordination Team Lead]
“As far as our weather window, this time of year we are approaching the peak of hurricane season so there's a tremendous amount of weather forecasting services that we use for the project. We've broken up the tow out and the installation offshore into a number of phases. We look at each phase for a particular weather window. The window that we needed today to get offshore was a four-day weather window which is clear of no tropical disturbances coming within the Perdido area and then we have other steps offshore that we look at weather windows for each particular activity that we're going to do. To get storm safe once we depart here to getting our first three mooring lines connected offshore is roughly 10 days to two weeks”.
Back at Ingleside on the Texas coast workers are finishing the topsides production module for setting atop the spar in early 2009. The top sides will turn the anchored spar into a small manufacturing town in the remote southern reaches of the Gulf.
A self-contained facility with its own power generation, the topsides contain the production equipment, drilling rig, helicopter landing pad and living quarters for a crew of up to 150. This floating town is designed to be capable of delivering 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from some of the deepest depths ever attempted in the Gulf of Mexico. At max production, Perdido is expected to produce enough oil each day to fill 132,000 cars with gasoline. Shell and Perdido co-owners, BP and Chevron, expect first production around the turn of the decade.
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Thousands of people from all over the world worked on Perdido, the world’s deepest spar, and the second deepest oil and gas production hub.
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