Devil’s Tower is an offshore oil production platform located in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico, about 140 miles from the coast of New Orleans. It takes its name from the National Monument in Wyoming. At the time it was constructed, it was the deepest truss spar platform in production at a depth of 5,610 feet. The record has since been taken over by the Perdido platform owned by Royal Dutch Shell. Originally owned and operated by Dominion Exploration, Devil’s Tower is now owned by Williams Energy and operated by Eni. It was built by J. Ray McDermott.
Oil field development was started in 2001 and production started in 2004. The first field well was MC 773 A-1. Seven additional wells were subsequently established here. The oil field drilling utilized Noble Homer Ferrington, a semi-submersible vessel for initial discovery. Hydrocarbons were noted in three distinct zones. It is estimated that the field has oil reserves of up to 150 million barrels.
The platform is a spar that provides access to multiple well locations near the same area. This spar was completed by SparTEC, a subsidiary of J. Ray McDermott. They designed, procured, fabricated and installed the spar. They used proprietary technology that can be used in water that is up to 9,000 feet deep. The system includes complete facilities for production and was fabricated in Indonesia. It is 586 feet long, 94 feet in diameter and weighs more than 11,000 tons.
The spar consists of eight dry-tree well positions and is also able to handle additional future subsea tie-backs. It is the deepest dry-tree oil platform in the world. The platform is able to handle up to 60,000 barrels of crude oil a day. There are several subsea wells that are tied back to the platform and are located about 6 miles away.
Coflexip Stena Offshore was contracted to engineer and construct the pipelines for the project. There are two 18 inch export lines that connect to the tie-ins located near the edge of the shelf. Subsea services were provided by McDermott’s subsea division, and they designed and procured the risers while the installation was overseen by the marine division. The work was completed in 2003.
Eni, who is a main owner and operates globally, is not immune to serious accidents on their offshore facilities. A serious fire occurred on their offshore platform Foukanda near the shore of the Republic of Congo. The fire necessitated the evacuation of the entire platform. At least five people suffered burn injuries, and a crane operator died. The incident underscores the need for safety training and procedures on offshore rigs due to the many dangers involved.
Maritime workers who are injured in accidents in the United States are protected by the Jones Act, which allows employees to take legal action against a negligent employer. If you were hurt in an accident on Devil’s Tower or any offshore facility, we can help. Contact us today by filling out the online form.