This paper will provide an overview of the Typhoon Development including background information, project objectives, organizational approach, the project management techniques utilized and results achieved. This paper should be of interest to those involved with deepwater developments in general and of particular interest to those of smaller or perceived marginal nature.


The Typhoon Development is located in Green Canyon Blocks 236 and 237, about 100 miles offshore from Leeville, La. (Fig.1.0). These blocks were acquired in the 1995-lease sale by Chevron U.S.A., Inc. and BHP Billiton bidding jointly as 50% interest holders. Chevron is the designated operator. The exploration play was primarily based on amplitudes, with the seismic data showing several bright spots. (Fig.2.0) The discovery well (GC 236#1) found 116 feet of oil in June 1998. The follow-up well (GC 237#1) found over 300 feet of oil in December 1998. With two successful wells and additional bright spots to test, a project team was formed in March 1999, to get a jump-start on Front End Engineering (FEE). The third and fourth wells, drilled in April 1999 and July 1999, also found oil accumulations, as did the fifth well, a replacementfor the discovery well, which had mechanical problems. The second through fifth wells were designed from the start to be suspended, if successful, and later completed as producing wells. The estimate of recoverable reserves ranged from 20 to 90mmboe.

Project Objectives and Processes
Decision Process

Both Chevron and BHP utilize a multi-step project development decision process. A Decision Review Board (DRB) with representatives from both companies was formed to frame the project objectives and to provide guidance to the project team. The DRB and the Project Team communicated and interacted on a regular basis, holding meetings on a 2 to 3 month interval. The major Project Objectives were stated as:

  • Safe and Clean Development and Operations during

  • Planning and Engineering

  • Completions activities

  • Fabrication

  • Installation

  • Start-up and operations

  • Minimize Capital Expenditures

  • Develop and Implement an Industry Pacesetter Schedule

Concept Selection Process

Due to the potentially marginal nature of the reserves, a robust concept selection process was critical to the economic success of the development. The process involved DRB/Project Team meetings to establish givens and decision drivers. The Project Team then developed details, performed analyses, and made recommendations for DRB action.

Initial concepts considered consisted of five different remote subsea tiebacks, three mini-TLP configurations, a production spar with subsea wells, and both new build and leased FPS configurations. Round one screening reduced the options to two remote subsea tiebacks and two mini-TLP choices.

The concept selected was a SeaStar TLP (Ref. 1.0) with four subsea wells producing to it (Ref 2.0) through flexible flowlines (Ref 3.0). The producing facilities were sized for 40,000 bopd, 60 mmcfd, 15,000 bwpd, and quarters for 22 persons. Oil and gas export handling agreements were made with third parties and the export pipelines were contracted and installed by them.

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