Chevron And Partners Set Hull Of Giant Platform In Gulf Of Mexicos Green Canyon

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June 19, 1998

Chevron and its "Project Genesis" partners made the first move toward positioning the 28,700-ton hull of their Genesis drilling and production platform in waters 2,600 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico, 150 miles south of here.

Underscoring their commitment to deepwater energy resources and technology, project teams from Chevron U.S.A. Production Co., Exxon Company, U.S.A., PetroFina Delaware Inc., and contractors, yesterday "uprighted" the 705-foot cylindrical steel hull which will serve as the foundation for the entire platform. The hull arrived by barge from Finland earlier this year and was floated into position last week from its launch site in Ingleside, Texas.

The $750-million Genesis Project will develop the Green Canyon (Block 205) oil and gas field using a floating spar platform. Its massive hull 122 feet across and 705 feet high is like a giant buoy which will support the drilling and production platform. The Genesis structure the second floating spar in the Gulf is the first to accommodate both drilling and production facilities. No oil or gas will be stored on Genesis. All production will be transported via pipeline to existing near-shore facilities for further handling.

Production from Green Canyon Block 205 is expected to begin late this year at an initial rate of about 12,000 barrels per day. By the year 2000, daily production is expected to approximate 55,000 barrels of oil and 72 million cubic feet of natural gas. The reservoir contains an estimated 160 million barrels of oil and oil-equivalent gas.

The sophisticated underwater mooring system is now being connected to the huge hull. The "topsides" currently being built in Morgan City, La. will be lifted and set on top of the hull in early July. Designed to accommodate up to 20 wells for a 15-year life, Genesis, true to its name, is seen to be the beginning for many Chevron deep-water developments in the U.S. Gulf.

"Oil and gas exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the most profitable businesses in Chevron. Our goal is to continue this position for forty years through development of significant deepwater opportunities like Genesis," said Peter Robertson, president of Chevron U.S.A. Production Co. Robertson noted that Chevron has the third largest inventory of deepwater opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Genesis partnership found, through its early drilling program, that production rates were more than triple what they expected.

"In the early 1990s, we thought the deep-water wells would produce about 3,000 barrels of oil a day," said Scott Young, who heads the New Orleans-based Genesis team. "But the reservoirs are bigger than we imagined, and the geologic structures are composed of less-dense sandstone which yields oil much more readily than the more traditional reservoirs which lie in shallower waters."

Young said the Genesis team believes it can reach peak production from the Green Canyon reservoir by drilling 12 to 17 wells.

"Were very excited about this project," said Robertson. "Were excited about the technology, the economic opportunities in the Gulf of Mexicos deep-water, and the role projects like these will play in enhancing Chevrons value in North America for years to come."

Genesis Project
Deepwater Oil and Natural Gas Production
U.S. Gulf Offshore Louisiana

  • Chevron U.S.A. Production Company (Operator) 56.67 percent
  • Exxon Corporation 38.38 percent
  • PetroFina Delaware, Incorporated 4.95 percent
  • Project team formed 1994/1995
  • Commenced front-end engineering June 1995
  • Detail engineering commenced January 1996
  • Hull fabrication commenced May 1996
  • Project approved June 1996
  • Topsides fabrication commenced November 1996
  • Batch setting & Pre-drilling November 1996 thru July 1997
  • Installation, hookup and commissioning starting in May & June 1998
  • First Oil December 1998
  • Located 150 miles south of New Orleans
  • Water depth at site: 2,590 feet
Statistics: Hull
  • 1st drilling and production spar ever built
  • 122' Diameter could almost fit an entire baseball field inside
  • Could hide the Washington Monument inside the well bay
  • 705' long, exceeds the height of many skyscrapers.
  • Weighs 28,700 tons, as much as 12,000 Suburban trucks
  • 58' x 58' well bay
  • 20 well slots
Statistics: Mooring System
  • 14 mooring lines, each approximately 3000' long, composed of chain and wire rope
  • Total of about 8,400 chain links & 28,000' of wire rope
  • Each chain link is 31.5" long, 17.6" wide, 5" in diameter and weighs 426 lbsas much as 2 average size people
  • Wire rope is 5" diameter
  • 8' diameter anchor piles
  • Seafloor anchor pattern encircles an area equivalent to 264 city blocks
Statistics: Topsides
  • 55,000 barrels/day oil capacity
  • 72 million standard cubic feet/day gas capacity
  • 9 megawatt electric power capabilityenough for a small city
  • 35 million standard cubic feet/day gas injection
  • Weighs about 17,000 tons, as much as 7,100 Suburban trucks
  • 110-person sleeping capacity
  • Deck area about the size of 2 football fields
Statistics: Risers & Subsea Wellheads
  • Up to 20 Production risers, 2 export pipeline risers, and 1 drilling riser
  • Each approximately 2,650' long to span from seafloor wellheads to the topsides
  • 20 subsea wellheads & 2 export riser bases on seafloor arranged in 140' diameter circle with 20' spacing
  • Up to 12 miles of risers total; air cans alone stretch over one mile

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