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BP awards contracts for deepwater technology project

30th November 2012

BP awards first contracts for Project 20K, an initiative for the development of more efficient deepwater exploration technologies

BP awards contracts for deepwater technology project
Across BP’s own global portfolio alone the technology could potentiate access to an additional 10-20 billion barrels of resources

Oil giant BP has hashed contracts with US engineering firm KBR and global technology provider FMC Technologies for project targeting “next-generation systems and tools to help unlock the next frontier of deepwater oil and gas resources currently beyond the reach of today’s technology,” the company said in a written statement this month.

The KBR and FMC Technologies contracts are the the first awarded in Project 20K, which focuses on technologies needed for the development and production of oil and gas from reservoirs with pressures up to 20,000 psi and temperatures as high as 177°C. Current equipment has technical pressure and temperature limits of 15,000 psi and 121°C.

The project aims to develop equipment for well design and completions; drilling rigs, risers, and blowout preventers; subsea production systems; and well-intervention and containment. BP estimates that the application of this technology could prove key in developing major deepwater discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico such as the Paleogene. Across BP’s own global portfolio alone the technology could potentiate access to an additional 10-20 billion barrels of resources, the company suggests.

KBR will develop program execution and management plans for the project, including capital cost and schedule estimates, risk assessments, and technical designs.

FMC Technologies will participate in a technology-development agreement in which it will work with BP to design and develop 20,000-psi-rated subsea production equipment, including a subsea production tree and a subsea high-integrity pressure protection system.

“With this project, BP truly is leading the way to the next frontier in deepwater oil and gas development, and as today’s announcement demonstrates, is tapping into expertise from across the industry to tackle this significant challenge,” said Jackie Mutschler, head of upstream technology at BP America.