ABSTRACT

The intent of this paper is to document the major accomplishments in the salvage, transportation and reinstallation of a 120 MMCFD gas drilling and production platform from one location in the Gulf of Mexico to another. The project entailed moving a complete 192' depth facility including jacket, deck, and process equipment. The paper Will discuss several Gulf of Mexico firsts for Texaco, such as:

  1. Heaviest jacket relocation in the Gulf of Mexico

  2. First upright lift and tow of a large jacket

  3. Application of the Jones Act and impact on project

  4. In situ coating of splash zone area of structure

INTRODUCTION

The oil industry has always looked for more cost and time effective methods for developing deposits of hydrocarbons found beneath the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). One method which has been used successfully is to drill the required wells from a fixed platform. This involves considerable lead time and cost to design, fabricate and install a structure and process equipment. After the hydrocarbon deposits have been depleted, the platform becomes a liability and must be removed and disposed of, often at greater expense than the original platform installation.

In 1988, Texaco successfully recycled an offshore platform, relocating the platform approximately 35 miles from a location with a water depth of 192 feet in West Cameron Block 547 (WC 547) to a location in 177 feet of water in East Cameron Block 278 (EC 278).

Production had ceased in WC 547 in February, 1987. Minerals Management Services (Ml&S)regulations required that this block be cleared of all obstructions within one year of the end of production or February, 1988. Texaco had a requirement for a platform to develop a separate prospect in EC 278. In May of 1987, preliminary engineering was started to determine if the WC 547 platform could be relocated to EC 278.

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

Texaco was organized with the Offshore Division office, which included Engineering, Regulatory Compliance, and Legal Departments, in New Orleans and the Offshore District Office, which would perform all field work, in Morgan City. Texaco decided that the project manager would be in the Division Office and the project coordinator would be in the District office until contracts here signed; then the project manager and project coordinator would switch titles. Both positions were filled at Project conception, and the same personnel stayed with the project for the duration of the project.

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