Gulf of Mexico Gas Pipeline

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted August 26, 2013

It looks like the world’s deepest gas pipeline will be constructed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Technip (OTC: TKPPY) said in a statement on Friday that it had been awarded a contract by energy giant Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) to begin development on its pipeline infrastructure in its Stones field. Installation is likely to begin in the second half of 2014.

pipeline tubesThe contract will encompass all engineering, procurement, and installation procedures at a depth of approximately 9,500 feet, or nearly 2 miles underwater, according to UPI.

This will mark Shell’s first foray into building a floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) unit in the Gulf of Mexico.

Technip, the French company formerly known as Technip SA, and which specializes in project management, engineering, and construction for the energy industry, operates in three segments: Subsea, Onshore, and Offshore.

Technip was a likely candidate all along for such a lofty endeavor, as it is already positioned in and around 48 different countries with some of the largest and most complex infrastructures in the game.

Shell announced in May its plans for its FPSO unit.

The Stones field is found 200 miles off the coast of Louisiana in an area called the Walker Ridge, and upon the deepwater pipeline’s first phase of development, it should surrender upwards of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per year.

Technip’s Pipeline

All of Technip’s pipeline work will be conducted in Texas and Alabama in time for its installation mid-way through 2014, which will be completed by the Deep Blue – Technip’s deepwater pipelaying vessel, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The deepest FPSO the world has ever seen – and Shell’s first in the Gulf of Mexico – will be the second FPSO in the Gulf of Mexico that Technip has worked on. It installed a riser (a pipe used to transfer procured fluids or gas from the seabed to the surface facility) for another project.

But this will be a first for Technip in the Gulf of Mexico, where it will be in charge every step of the way: development, installation, and production.

The complete subsea production system and the Stones lateral gas pipeline will be overseen by Technip, and this will include all associated project management, engineering, and stalk fabrication.

The company’s flowline – the pipeline laid out on the seabed that allows the transportation of gas and oil production, or that of injection fluids – will be the pinnacle of its success. A flowline can range from a few hundred meters in length right up to what Technip and Shell’s flowline will require: almost two miles.

The pipeline system, as well as the Stones lateral gas pipeline, will consist of dual 8-inch insulated flowlines and a compatible dual 8-inch steel lazy wave riser, according to the Wall Street Journal. All this will be in association with a pipeline end termination (PLET).

Technip’s project management will operate out of Houston, Texas. The flowlines and risers used for the project will be assembled and welded at Technip’s spoolbase in Mobile, Alabama.

At a Glance

Technip is already a world leader in project management, engineering, and construction efforts for energy companies throughout the world. Expectations are high for this new deepwater pipeline, as it is further proof technology is pushing the boundaries deeper and deeper into the sea.

From the Wall Street Journal:

David Dickson, Technip’s Senior Vice President, North America Region, has declared: “With greater depths come greater challenges for our clients and we are delighted to help Shell push back subsea frontiers by laying the deepest gas pipeline worldwide. With the award of this high-profile project, Technip confirms its subsea leadership and keeps differentiating itself through innovation to remain at the forefront of frontier projects.”

Aside from Technip’s operations in Subsea, Onshore, and Offshore operations, the company also operates several subsidiaries including AE Tech, EPD, Subocean Group, and Front End Re. These, along with a growing fleet of sea vessels and numerous acquisitions, will have Technip sitting pretty down the line.

The Stones pipeline will come online next year and will further signal Technip’s expertise and ingenuity.


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