Nine days on Chevron still seeks answer to Big Foot tendon failure

Nine days on Chevron still seeks answer to Big Foot tendon failure

San Francisco: Chevron has a multibillion-dollar question about its Big Foot tension-leg platform (TLP).

What exactly led to the damage to nine of the TLP’s subsea installation tendons which are used to attach the platform to the seafloor? That damage was bad enough that Chevron withdrew the platform from its location deepwater in the Gulf of Mexico on June 1.

The bottom-line effect of the tendons’ absence, is that it will reduce the company’s production by around 25,000 barrels a day in 2017.

More than a week after the incident, Chevron was still assessing the damage and had no date for when repairs would begin, let alone finish.

The San Ramon, California-based multinational has had to delay its planned start for crude production from the Big Foot field, which is a $5.1 billion investment.

Chevron has set up a command centre in Houston to respond to the situation and is using four remote-operated vehicle robots equipped with cameras to roam the seafloor examining the nine tendons that sank.

Big Foot was set to process 75,000 barrels of crude oil and 25 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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