There are over 3000 deep water discoveries that are deemed non-commercial because of the cost and time to develop this discoveries employing conventional deep water technology. For nearly six years a new technology has gone from extensive engineering analysis to a field test in 1000 meters of water in the Gulf of Mexico that proves that a Self Standing Riser (SSR) could be the enabling technology for another way to drill, complete, test, produce, and intervene in deep water wells, leading to a step-change in the overall economics.
The concept for using the Self Standing Riser (SSR) for deep water applications is not new. Its use to support production pipelines is proven and well documented. Also, for over two decades tension leg platforms have relied on the same physics and engineering that the SSR is based on.
The technical and economic viability of using the SSR for drilling, completion, and production was explored by a major independent E&P company. Later, another company further expanded the possible use of the SSR for intervention and well testing (Millheim et al. 2010). Deep water assets deemed non-commercial using conventional deep water technologies can be made commercially economical using the SSR to produce an early cash flow to help finance the exploitation. How this new SSR can make non-commercial deep water fields commercial is the basis of the content of this paper.