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Deepwater Production

  • SPAR Platform (SPAR) consists of a large diameter single vertical cylinder supporting a deck. It has a fixed platform topside (surface deck with drilling and production equipment), three types of risers (production, drilling, and export), and a hull which is moored using a taut caternary system of six to twenty lines anchored into the seafloor. SPAR's are presently used in water depths up to 3,000 feet, although existing technology can extend its use to water depths as great as 7,500 feet.

  • Floating Production System (FPS) consists of a semi-submersible unit which is equipped with drilling and production equipment. It is anchored in place with wire rope and chain, or can be dynamically positioned using rotating thrusters. Production from subsea wells is transported to the surface deck through production risers designed to accommodate platform motion. The FPS can be used in a range of water depths from 600 to 7,500 feet.

  • Subsea System (SS) ranges from single subsea wells producing to a nearby platform, FPS, or TLP to multiple wells producing through a manifold and pipeline system to a distant production facility. These systems are presently used in water depths greater than 5,000 feet.

  • Floating Production, Storage & Offloading System (FPSO) consists of a large tanker type vessel moored to the seafloor. An FPSO is designed to process and stow production from nearby subsea wells and to periodically offload the stored oil to a smaller shuttle tanker. The shuttle tanker then transports the oil to an onshore facility for further processing. An FPSO may be suited for marginally economic fields located in remote deepwater areas where a pipeline infrastructure does not exist. Currently, there are no FPSO's approved for use in the Gulf of Mexico.

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