OTC: Deepstar focuses on subsea equipment

Advances in deepwater technology require financial commitment by oil companies and a willingness to form partnerships with vendors and regulators, panelists discussing the DeepStar research and development collaboration told an opening session of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Chevron Energy Technology Co. manages the overall administration of the consortium, which includes 11 oil company members. In addition, 70 contributing members include service companies, manufacturers, and universities.

Steve Thurston, vice-president of deepwater exploration and projects for Chevron North America Exploration & Production Co., said technology development takes years. The goal is to make deepwater operations safer, more reliable, and less costly, he said.

“It’s critical to set our expectations that new technology will be developed,” Thurston said. Currently Chevron has committed financing and staff resources to more than 30 technology projects.

This year, Chevron plans to deploy a mud pump on the seafloor. The work started as a DeepStar concept in 1996. In 2011, Chevron agreed to work with GE to develop a mud lift pump to sit on top of a blowout preventer, Thurston said.

Kevin Kennelly, BP PLC vice-president of technology for global projects, said BP is focused on developing high-pressure, high-temperature reservoirs. He said the effort, Project 20K, will involve “a new generation of equipment.”

Kennelly said, “We are going to do more testing on this project than we’ve ever done before,” adding that the new equipment needs to be highly reliable. He noted that industry needs to improve its reliability: “We need to become an industry that stamps out our defects before we ever put the equipment in service.”

Alain Goulois, vice-president research and development for Total E&P, emphasized the need for maintenance rather than equipment repair.

“Collaboration is required to standardize subsea equipment interfaces, promote modularity, and to develop real-time condition monitoring to meet IMR challenges of the future,” Goulois said of offshore inspection, repair, and maintenance activities.

Encouraging innovation

Solange Guedes, executive manager for production engineering for Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), said the Brazilian firm has a strategy to encourage innovation. For example in November 2012, Petrobras and FMC Technology installed a subsea oil-water separator, enabling the separation process to be done in deepwater rather than lifting volumes of water and sand to the ocean’s surface.

The separation system was installed in 809 m of water in Marlim field in the Campos basin, Guedes said, adding that the technology will help extend the life of the mature Marlim field. The system reinjects separated water into a reservoir to boost production.

Previously, Petrobras installed the first floating production, storage, and offloading vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, she said.

Ram Shenoy, ConocoPhillips chief technology officer, said ConocoPhillips is rebuilding its deepwater presence now that ConocoPhillips has spun off its downstream division. Standardization is a theme for the company’s technology development.

“In the next half decade, we will be making investment decisions,” Shenoy said of deepwater projects in the gulf, off Norway, Bangladesh, Angola, and Australia. “ConocoPhillips is becoming current with state-of-the-art technology,” he said.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Shell cuts $15 billion in spending for 2015-17

01/30/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has curtailed more than $15 billion in potential spending over the next 3 years, but is not “not overreacting to current low ...

Victoria extends drilling, fracing ban

01/30/2015 The new Victorian Labor government of premier Daniel Andrews has extended the coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and hydraulic fracturing ban in the s...

Chevron’s $35 billion capital budget down 13% from last year

01/30/2015 Chevron Corp. will allocate $35 billion in its capital and exploratory investment program for 2015, including $4 billion of planned expenditures by...

US Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL pipeline project

01/30/2015 The US Senate has passed a bill approving construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline by a 62-36 vote after 3 weeks of debate. Nine...

Oxy cuts capital budget by a third

01/30/2015 In the midst of falling oil prices, Occidental Petroleum Corp., Houston, expects to reduce its total capital spending for 2015 to $5.8 billion from...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX natural gas prices drop after storage report

01/30/2015 US natural gas closed at its lowest price in more than 2 years on the New York market Jan. 29 following the government’s weekly gas storage report,...

Pennsylvania governor reinstates state forest drilling moratorium

01/29/2015 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed an executive order fully reinstating a 2010 moratorium on new oil and gas leases in state forests and parks. ...

PwC: Low oil prices might drive surge in restructuring in 2015

01/29/2015 Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the oil and gas industry hit 10-year highs in terms of deal value and volume in 2014, according to a report f...

DOE could meet 45-day LNG export decision deadline, Senate panel told

01/29/2015 The US Department of Energy would have no trouble meeting a 45-day deadline to reach a national interest determination for proposed LNG export faci...
White Papers

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected