Topsides, Platforms and Hulls conference returns to Galveston

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – The coming year will see a number of major offshore projects coming into service, including a handful of deepwater installations in the Gulf of Mexico. That follows a year of important developments in areas as diverse as the North Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and West Africa.

The flurry of new and upcoming projects will rank high on the agenda at this year’s Topsides, Platforms and Hulls Conference & Exhibition, to be held February 4-6, 2014, at Moody Gardens Hotel & Convention Center in Galveston, Texas. The event, now in its fourth year, continues to draw interest from a broad cross-section of the upstream industry: last year’s conference drew 1,500 attendees and 109 exhibitors, reflecting a keen desire among engineers and project managers to share knowledge gained from recent installations and best practices employed in operations.

The upcoming conference agenda includes presentations by high-level industry officials covering those topics and more. Following the annual golf tournament and an evening networking reception on Tuesday, February 4, Shell Vice President of Projects – Deepwater Robert Patterson kicks off the conference Wednesday morning with the keynote speech. The program gets under way with a session on new projects featuring discussions of Noble Energy’s Tamar gas development offshore Israel, the OPTI-EX production platform at LLOG’s Who Dat field in the Gulf of Mexico, and Hess Corp.’s Tubular Bells deepwater spar.

A concurrent session on design concepts for platforms and hulls will include news from the newly installed buoyant tower CX-15 offshore Peru, along with presentations on vortex induced motion testing in sheared currents and Chevron’s experience using dry tree semisubmersibles in the Gulf of Mexico.

The afternoon continues the two-track agenda. A second round of new projects presentations will look at the Perla development offshore Venezuela, Shell’s Perdido, and LLOG’s upcoming Delta House installation. The design concepts track turns its focus to topsides, with talks on alarm management in Gulf of Mexico facilities, advancements in MEG regeneration and reclamation units, and inside information on how new design regulations were addressed while incorporating the South Timbalier 283 Junction platform into the Keathley Canyon Connector high-pressure gas transport system.

The presentations that conclude the conference’s first day will continue the topsides design concepts discussion, with presentations by Petrobras and Chevron, among others.

Thursday morning’s agenda begins with a session on fabrication and transportation. Two presentations concern the increasing use of aluminum in topsides construction; picking up the transportation theme, Dockwise will discuss its new Dockwise Vanguard, which delivered Chevron’s Jack-St. Malo platform to the Gulf Coast on its maiden voyage.

The program continues with brownfield projects. Anadarko will discuss the Caesar-Tonga tieback to the existing Constitution spar and the use of laser scan technology to design for the topsides equipment required to accommodate the additional production. Following are presentations on the pressurized welding enclosure process and the use of refinery-style turnaround planning principles at Shell’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets.

The 2014 conference will close with a panel discussion on safety issues that affect the design, maintenance and operation of topsides facilities.

Topsides, Platforms and Hulls advisory board chairman David Brubaker, of Shell Upstream Americas, will present awards to speakers and deliver a closing address.

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