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First ‘Made-in-America’ FPS spar takes shape

The Allison Companies, LLC, a provider of lifecycle services and major fabrication for production platforms, said its AMC division has brought the Williams’ Gulfstar 1 project (GS1) to completion. It’s the first spar-based floating production system (FPS) being built entirely with major components in the United States, according to the company. The four-pile deck will be placed on the Gulfstar spar in 4,300 ft of water at the Tubular Bells field on Mississippi Canyon Block 768 in the Gulf of Mexico. The facility is designed to process 60,000 bbl/d of oil and 200 mmscf/d of gas.

The temporary work deck (TWD) is a four-legged structure that measures 90 ft by 120 ft and weighs an estimated 1,500 tons. It includes a heliport, utility piping, electrical receptacles, lighting and a hydraulic pedestal-mounted deck crane.
At the center of the work deck is a 30 ft by 30 ft area that consists of four separate 15 ft by 15 ft removable hatches. The TWD will be installed on top of the GS1 spar after upending operations and be used to facilitate installation of the mooring lines, production-export risers and minimal in-hull hook-up operations. AMC’s scope of work for the GS1 includes the fabrication, weighing, seafastening, loadout and tie-down of the TWD.

The Gulfstar FPS is configured to support production from remotely operated subsea wells; oil, gas and water processing capacity; sea water injection capacity; steel catenary risers (SCRs) for owner’s oil-gas export pipelines; steel catenary risers (SCRs) for the client’s production-water injection flowlines; and I-tubes for electro hydraulic umbilicals.
“We are honored that Williams has chosen us to take part in the development of the Gulf Star 1 project,” said Hank Robards, Allison’s president and chief executive officer. “The Allison project team and craftsmen worked over 50,000 man-hours to build this new 1500-ton temporary work deck on time.” Williams’ master limited partnership, Williams Partners, has already signed multiple agreements with field owners Hess Corp. (operator) and Chevron to provide production handling, export pipeline, oil and gas gathering and gas processing services in the Tubular Bells field development.
“These agreements demonstrate the value that deepwater producers place on reducing cycle time and costs,” said Rory Miller, president of Williams’ midstream business. ”
The Gulfstar FPS is creating 1,000 jobs in 20 states, with fabrication of the hull taking place in Aransas Pass, Texas, and the topsides fabrication occurring in Houma, Louisiana. “The Gulfstar FPS approach to field development has certainly created a buzz in the industry,” said Stafford Menard, Williams’ manager of Gulfstar development.
“Most of the people I have talked to have really jumped on the concept, particularly the focus on ‘Made in America.’ They’re glad to see the work is being done in the United States.”
Williams said its engineers designed Gulfstar to provide the flexibility producers need and the safety and reliability they expect. Gulfstar’s standardized core design ensures speed to market, while plug-and-play options allow customization to meet specific needs. The classic spar hull with traditional three-level topsides can reach water depths of 3,000 to 8,500 ft. Anchoring the facility requires robotic technology, similar to what NASA does in space.
Alliance Engineering, a subsidiary of Wood Group, was awarded the detailed engineering and design of the topside facilities and deck for the Gulfstar FPS spar production platform. McDermott International, Inc. was awarded a contract by Williams Partners for transportation and installation services for the spar hull. McDermott’s recently improved DB50 vessel was to install the moorings.

By: Ocean News & Technology Staff
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