Cooper Cameron continues work on Typhoon systems

Cooper Cameron Corp. is testing the first of four subsea production systems, assembled from components of its Mosaic product line, for later installation in the deepwater Typhoon project being developed by Chevron USA Production Co. and BHP Petroleum Inc. in the Gulf of Mexico.


Cooper Cameron Corp. is testing the first of four subsea production systems, assembled from components of its Mosaic product line, for later installation in the deepwater Typhoon project being developed by Chevron USA Production Co. and BHP Petroleum Inc. in the Gulf of Mexico (OGJ, April 10, 2000, p. 39).

But this is the last subsea production project to be done at Cameron's 49-acre facility in Ville Platte, La. Cameron is moving its subsea production line to an existing equipment refurbishment plant in Liberty, Tex., where it will be in operation by yearend, officials told OGJ Online.

The Ville Platte plant, which will retain its other operations, is too crowded for the growing subsea production line, a Cameron official said Thursday, during a tour of that facility.

"It would be okay if we were only doing 5 subsea production systems a year," he said, "but we think the Gulf of Mexico will support demand for at least 30 subsea systems annually."

Cameron doesn't expect to reap all of the ramp-up in the Gulf of Mexico deepwater subsea production market. But it wants to be positioned to harvest all it can, officials said.

The subsea systems that Cameron is producing for Typhoon are modular assemblies of the company's standard field-proven products, including gate valves, compact modular actuators, and retrievable insert chokes.

The assemblies will be landed on Cameron completion guide bases in 2,000-2,300 ft of water in Green Canyon blocks 236-237 nearly 100 miles off Louisiana.

Those bases are designed to automatically align the assemblies�with the aid of a remotely operated submarine vehicle�in correct orientation for easier tie-ins to the small tension-leg platform (TLP), which is scheduled for installation next May.

The guide base includes an upward-looking funnel that accommodates the stab and hinge-over flowline connection system, while a second funnel is used to connect the direct hydraulic control system.

Savings potential
The flowline connection system is designed for 150,000 lb of pull-in and incorporates a mini-collet connector to form a secure connection with the flexible flowline. It features a compact design that reduces the assembly's overall footprint and trims costs by $3.2 million over alternatives, said Cameron officials who demonstrated its operation to reporters.

Using direct tie-ins of flexible flowlines from all four subsea wells rather than a surface manifold and two flowlines will produce an estimated savings of $9 million on the project, said BHP officials. The four satellite subsea wells are located 0.6-2.3 miles from where the Typhoon mini-TLP will be positioned, officials said.

Cameron officials said Wednesday they expect to have all four systems assembled and tested by the end of August. Workers are scheduled to begin completions of the four subsea wells Sept. 1.

Chevron and BHP officials anticipate first oil production from Typhoon by August 2001, less than 4 years after discovery. Both companies hold half interests in the project, with Chevron as operator.

This is BHP's first commercial deepwater development project in the Gulf of Mexico.

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