Delving into deepwater rig repair

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC) has announced plans to develop the next generation of deepwater port facilities at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. How do you go about constructing such a port and what impact will it have on the surrounding area? “Our goal is to use every speck of sand we dredge beneficially, and in the first cut of this deepening we’re going to generate about 20 million cubic yards of material.”

Deepwater oil and gas operations are continuing to grow in number as companies around the world seek large, dependable reserves. Of the 2.7 trillion barrels of remaining recoverable conventional oil estimated by the International Energy Agency, approximately half is located offshore. Of this, 25% – or 340 billion barrels – is made up of deepwater reserves.

Companies such as Shell have identified deepwater reserves as key areas of development in coming years. However, in the US port facilities are struggling to cope with these monster rigs and the specific challenges they create.

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC) announced in September that it had signed a lease for 900 acres of land on which to construct a new deepwater port facility. Located at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, the facility will be equipped for rig repair and refurbishment.

“We’re going to go to -50ft, so a 50ft draft, and we’re going to do the initial phase of dredging and development of a deepwater rig repair and refurbishment facility in order to service currently the rigs that are unable to be serviced in the US Gulf of Mexico as far as repair and refurbishment,” says GLPC executive director Chett Chiasson.

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