Williams Partners L.P. reported key construction milestones and progress on a tieback expansion as its proprietary Gulfstar FPS™ (Floating Production System) nears completion in the eastern deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Gulfstar One project is the first spar-based floating production system with major components built entirely in the United States.
“Williams Partners’ made-in-America Gulfstar One is 21,500 tons of proof that American engineering and construction are alive and well. The hull of the floating production system was towed out and positioned in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico before the topside platform was installed in March 2014.” the company said in a press release.
After mooring the floating spar to the ocean floor in February, crews in March lifted and installed Gulfstar’s three-level topside structure. The floating production system is moored 135 miles southeast of New Orleans in about 4,000 feet of water. It will serve as a hub that aggregates production and then combines production handling services with oil and gas export pipeline services, which feed Williams’ downstream oil and gas gathering and processing services.
Once operational, the Gulfstar’s base design will produce up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day and 135 million standard cubic feet of gas per day with additional tieback capacity. With hook-up and commissioning activities currently underway, Gulfstar is on schedule to start serving anchor customers in the third quarter of 2014 and Gunflint in 2016.
In addition to previously announced anchor commitments, Gulfstar in January executed agreements with Gunflint field owners Noble Energy, Inc., Ecopetrol America Inc., Marathon Oil Company and Samson Offshore, LLC. The Gunflint tieback is designed and engineered with modifications expected to be completed after the base Gulfstar project is completed.
“Landing this Gunflint tieback before first oil is received from the anchor tenants demonstrates the promise of the Gulfstar model for producers, both economically and technically,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area. “As a midstream company, Williams is focused on infrastructure solutions of this nature that connect the best supplies with highest-value markets. Gulfstar is one of approximately $4.5 billion in large-scale projects we expect to bring into service in 2014 and 2015.”
Major components of the Gulfstar were built entirely in the United States, creating approximately 1,000 domestic jobs and allowing quick parts replacement and reduced platform downtime. Gulf Marine Fabricators built the hull in Aransas Pass, Texas and Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc. constructed the topsides in Houma, La.
“Gulfstar provides a complete ‘floating production system to market clearing point’ solution for producers in the Gulf for their oil, gas and liquids production, designed specifically to maximize their net present value and minimize risk,” said Mark Cizek, Gulfstar Project Director. “The ‘design one, build many’ construction concept allows for standardized design options and enhanced safety and reliability of each unit. The repeatable concept also increases speed to market.”
Williams Partners developed the Gulfstar One project and it has a 51 percent ownership interest. Marubeni Corporation has a 49 percent interest in the Gulfstar One project.
The christening ceremony took place in Technip’s yard in Pori, Finland. Thierry Pilenko, Technip’s Chairman and CEO, as well as Anadarko’s Senior Vice President for International and Deepwater Operations, Doug Lawler, and Anadadarko’s Vice President for Worldwide Projects, Don Vaderman, were present to celebrate the event. The 23,000-ton Spar will be on its way to the US Gulf of Mexico in coming weeks.
Upon arrival on the location the spar will be moored at the Lucius project in approximately 7,100 feet (2,165 meters) of water depth in the US Gulf of Mexico, with first oil being scheduled in 2014.
The Lucius truss spar floating production facility will have a nameplate capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil per day and 450 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
This Spar is the fifteenth delivered by Technip. The Lucius production unit will be jointly owned by Anadarko (35%), Plains E&P (23.3%) ExxonMobil (15%) Apache (11.7%), Petrobras (9.6%) and Eni (5.4%).
Technip has already delivered 6 Spars to Anadarko: Neptune, Nansen, Boomvang, Gunnison, Red Hawk and Constitution.
Technip received instructions from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to begin the engineering, construction and transport of a 23,000-ton Truss Spar hull for their Heidelberg field development. This field is located in the US Gulf of Mexico, at a water depth of 1,620 meters (5,310 feet).
The Letter of Intent allows Technip to begin construction work on the project and other early works including purchase of long-lead items for the hull and start of fabrication, in advance of the expected project sanctioning around mid-2013, after which it will enter into Technip’s backlog.
The Heidelberg Spar will have a capacity of more than 80,000 barrels of oil and 2.3 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.
Technip’s operating center in Houston, Texas will provide the overall project management and engineering. The detailed hull design and fabrication will be carried out by Technip’s construction yard in Pori, Finland where most of Technip’s Spar projects have been manufactured.
David Dickson, Technip’s Senior Vice President, North America Region, has declared: “Technip is really proud to have received this Letter of Intent. Not only does it strengthen our long-lasting relationship with Anadarko but it also confirms its continuous trust in the Group’s extensive know-how and expertise in Spar technology. After Lucius, awarded last year and currently being built in our yard in Pori, Heidelberg will be the 8th Spar delivered by Technip to Anadarko.”
The Heidelberg Spar will be the 17th delivered by Technip (out of 20 worldwide) and thus demonstrates the Group’s leadership for this kind of floating platform and ability to tackle ultra-deepwater developments. It also confirms Pori’s track record expertise and great capabilities to deliver state-of-the-art platforms.