The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Perdido Produces "First Oil"

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 5, 2010

On the same day President Obama announced his offshore drilling plan, Shell announced that it "smashed the water depth record for an offshore oil drilling and production by over 50%" by starting oil production at its Perdido platform.

perdido_platform_decks.jpgPerdido is the world's deepest offshore oil development project. Positioned in 8,000 feet of water on top of a mammoth floating steel cylinder, the platform is expected to produce about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, enough to fulfill the energy needs of 2.2 million households. Perdido is located about 200 south of Texas in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Chevron and BP are partners with Shell on the project.

Perdido will develop hydrocarbons from three fields called Great White, Silvertip and Tobago. Together they contain an estimated 3-15 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to the federal government.

The platform is designed to withstand a 1,000-year hurricane. Nine mooring lines hold the platform in place over 35 wells and pipelines on the seafloor where the temperatures are near freezing and the pressures are immense.

Shell has produced two videos that explain some of Perdido's features and the engineering required to create the platform. Project Manager Dale Snyder describes the 14-year-long quest to develop the oil fields and build Perdido here. Team Leader Curtis Lohr provides commentary on the mooring lines and positioning of the platform.

perdido_transport_spar.jpgAs you'll see, Dale and Curtis are excellent examples of the dedicated people in the oil and natural gas industry who work hard to ensure that American consumers have access to energy where they want it, when they want it, every single day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.