At 7,070 feet, the Atlantis platform (operated by BP in partnership with BHP Billiton) is the deepest moored floating dual production facility in the world. The oil and gas producing platform is 190 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana, and weighs 58,700 tons. It is associated with a field that covers the Green Canyon 699, 700, 742, 743, and 744 blocks. The main deck is 403 by 294 feet (161,163 square feet), and the hull displacement is 88,826 tons; it is moored using a hydraulic linear chain jack mooring system with permanent mooring piles located over 7,000 feet below the water surface.
Oil production began at the Atlantis in October 2007, and it reached its production capacity of 200,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of 2008. It is also capable of producing 180 million cubic feet of gas daily. Over its expected 15-year life expectancy, the platform is expected to tap into a reserve of 635,000 million barrels of oil equivalent. Combined with the Thunder Horse platform, completed in 2008, the oil and gas produced add about 6.5 percent to U.S. production.
Atlantis has a semi-submersible design. However, the production quarters are supported by a separate mobile offshore drilling system. A network of wet-tree subsea wells is connected to the platform; a total of 18+ wells may potentially be tied back to it. Oil is delivered onshore by the Caesar pipeline, and gas goes through the Cleopatra pipeline, both of which are part of the Mardi Gras transportation system. Crude oil is sent to Ship Shoal 332B, where it’s directed through various pipelines before reaching U.S. markets. Natural gas, once sent to Ship Shoal 332A, is transported by the Manta Ray gathering system to a gas transportation system directing it to Louisiana.
Issues with the Atlantis Oil Platform
The findings of an investigation were released in 2011 by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) following a lawsuit in April 2009. A former BP contractor acted as a whistleblower under the False Claims Act when he reported the company did not maintain “as-built” drawings of the rig’s structures and systems. During the investigation, over 3,400 engineering drawings and documents were reviewed and 29 individuals were interviewed. It was determined there was no evidence unsafe conditions were created by the deficiencies in documentation. An Incident of Non-Compliance was issued, and BP corrected the violation thereafter.
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Interior Inspector-General issued a report that rebuked the findings of the BOEMRE. The report cited three structural engineers who found that the platform and its associated equipment were unsafe. It recommended further investigation of some of the issues found, which mirror some that were in place on the BP Horizon platform when it exploded in 2010.
If you have sustained injuries on the job at the Atlantis platform, contact us via our web form, and learn more about how you can receive help and potential compensation.