The Neptune Tension Leg Platform began production in 2007, with five of six wells on line. It is located about 120 miles from the Louisiana coast, in 4,274 feet of water, at Green Canyon Block 613. Positioned directly above the Sigsbee Escarpment, the structure exports oil and gas using the Caesar and Cleopatra pipelines serving the region. Production capacity is 50,000 barrels of oil, and 50 million cubic feet of gas, per day, while the reserves in the Neptune field, covering Atwater blocks 573, 574, 575, 167, and 618, are estimated to be up to 150 million barrels of oil equivalent.
In 2008, remediation efforts reinforced pontoon structural components in the hull. When production began, six initial subsea wells were tied back to the platform, with the potential for further development. The operator with the most interest in the facility is BHP Billiton. Partners in the operation include Marathon Oil Corporation, Woodside Energy, and Maxus Exploration Company.
The Neptune reserve was discovered in 1995, and the first appraisal well was drilled in 1997. The project was taken over by BHP Billiton in 2002, which built the standalone tension leg platform, a single column structure with an Atlantia Seastar design. The structure can permanently house 26 people. It also has temporary quarters that can hold an additional 24 people, and a helideck sized for an S-92 helicopter. It’s three-level deck measures 121 by 110 feet, supported by a 5,900-ton mon-column steel hull. Six tendons connect the structure to the seabed (anchored by six, 96-inch diameter, 414-foot-long piles); each is 36 inches in diameter and has 1.36-inch-thick walls.
Built at a total cost of about $1.2 billion, the facility exports oil via the Caesar pipeline, and gas via the Cleopatra line.
The company’s assets attained ISO 14000 certification in June 2004. It is one of a few oil and gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico that has, and it also earned Occupational Health Safety and Standard 180001 certification in 2005. BHP’s goal is for there to be no harm to people or the environment.
However, a safety inspection conducted after the platform was first built found anomalies in the hull. The findings delayed production for a few months; it was to have started in December 2008, but operations began the following July.
Working on an offshore oil platform comes with many risks. Equipment failures, storms, and the distance from shore and medical and emergency resources put employees at risk. Even a minor equipment problem or slip can cause a serious injury or worse, but a fire or explosion can cause extensive harm and even a rig to sink. Exposure to volatile oil and gas, in addition to chemicals and other compounds, is a concern every day someone is on the job.
Have you been injured on the job at the Neptune Tension Leg Platform? Contact us via the form on our website, to receive vital information on how to present your case and potentially receive compensation.