№11 November 2011Table of contents Issue Archive
№ 10 (October 2011)
What are Chevron Arctic Center’s key focus areas?
The Chevron Arctic Center is comprised of a multi-disciplined group of Arctic subject matter experts based in Calgary, Canada and provide engineering and operations support to Chevron’s global arctic activities.
By Humphrey Michael, Engineering Manager. Rybalchenko Irina, Media Coordinator
The Arctic Center’s capability is wide ranging and comprises the following skill sets: drilling, facilities, marine operations, production operations, health, safety and the environment, ice & structural engineering, stakeholder relations, geotechnical, logistics, construction and project management. Group members have been involved in a wide range of arctic projects located in North America, Greenland and both Eastern and Western Russia.
The Arctic Center has experience in all of the four main arctic operating environments: onshore, land-fast ice, pack ice and iceberg / pack ice. The North American arctic is the only area in which exploration drilling has been carried out in all four of these areas.
The Arctic Center also brings considerable experience to any arctic challenge with 10 team members possessing more than 30 years of arctic experience. Chevron has an active mentoring/ knowledge transfer program to capture and transfer this arctic experience to younger Arctic Center members.
What is Chevron’s operating experience in the Arctic, both offshore and onshore?
Chevron has onshore arctic operating experience from programs in Canada and Alaska.
Chevron’s experience with fixed structures in the arctic offshore includes our Cook Inlet production operations on the Alaskan Shelf. Arctic Center team members also possess considerable fixed offshore structure experience in the shallow waters of the Arctic Ocean. This experience is largely derived from operations in both Canada and the US, and encompasses virtually every shallow water exploration drilling structure utilized to date.
Arctic Center team members also have extensive experience in Arctic offshore floating drilling systems from previous Canadian and US Beaufort Sea programs. This experience remains unique to the industry to this day, and it will form the basis of currently proposed drilling programs proposed for areas such as Greenland the deep-water Canadian Beaufort.
What is the Chevron Arctic Center’s global Arctic Shelf experience?
In terms of the Arctic and with respect to the shallow water operating areas of the Shelf, Chevron Arctic Center team members have extensive experience in the design and engineering of shallow water arctic structures
This involved experience includes the design and construction of ice islands, gravel islands, sand islands, shallow caissons, deep caissons, and gravity based structures. An example of the wide range of fixed structure types and the number of exploration wells drilled by each in the North American arctic is shown as follows. Of note, this involved Arctic Center team members in the design, engineering and operation of two of the most well known structures the Steel Drilling Caisson and the Mobile Arctic Caisson (MAC) or Molikpaq.
Does Chevron have any experience of working in Russian shelf?
Arctic Center team members were involved in the early stages of the Prirazlomnoye field conceptual development.
More recently, utilizing both North American and Russian Shelf experience the Arctic Center has developed a shallow water development system for the Russian Shelf. This system can be utilized in the exploration phase, quickly modified for early production, and thereafter adapted for full field development with the use of a shallow water oil transportation system.
The system is called the Near-shore Exploration Evaluation and Development System or NEEDS and is designed to be assembled quickly utilizing simple shipyard construction techniques. Such an approach can yield significant benefits to the local economy by utilizing existing industries and infrastructure.
What services does the Chevron Arctic Center provide for the development of shallow water Arctic oil and gas fields?
Some of the services that the Chevron Arctic Center can bring in support of shallow water arctic development are as follows:
Multi-disciplined Engineering Support
Facilities Design / Operation
Ice Management Deign / Operation
Logistics System Design / Operation
GBS / Fixed Structure Design / Operation
Tanker Transportation Design / Operation
Drill System Design / Operation
Construction Feasibility Assessment
Development of Capital and Operating Budget
Project Scheduling / Controls
Who is Chevron’s potential partner for Russian Arctic shelf development?
Chevron continues to engage with Russian companies on projects where it can add value based on its wide ranging arctic experience. Currently, Chevron is evaluating a number of major Arctic Shelf projects.
Has Chevron developed technologies for the Arctic offshore?
A good example of Chevron’s application of technology to key arctic design challenges is its Alternate Well Kill System (AWKS). The AWKS is a joint R&D project between Chevron and Cameron, and is aimed at the development of a new generation of blowout preventers (BOP’s) for the Arctic offshore.
The AWKS will increase the shear and seal capability of existing shear rams, allowing a single ram to shear and seal even on large diameter casing, an industry first. This effectively allows one AWKS to replace two existing rams. Adding a second AWKS will effectively provide 100% shear and seal redundancy over a much larger and broader range of casing and tubulars than is currently available.
The AWKS has been developed for both surface and subsea BOP’s, and both systems have passed ‘proof of concept’ testing. Key to the development of this technology has been the involvement of key Northern community stakeholder groups from the outset of the project, ensuring that critical parties have been part of the design process from the very beginning of the project.