Offshore infrastructure is key to all phases of offshore operations, spanning exploration and production through distribution. Offshore facilities and infrastructure in federal waters include more than 5,300 miles of pipelines, more than 7,100 risers and platforms, and more than 120,000 subsea installations and wellbores—spanning the sea surface to the subsurface in offshore settings. This infrastructure is exposed to some of the deepest, hottest, and chemically challenging geologic conditions. Optimization of new infrastructure to leverage new materials while reducing cost, and addressing challenges associated with aging offshore infrastructure, requires technology innovations.
Phase 2 of NETL’s Offshore Research portfolio expands on research previously conducted by NETL in Phase 1 of this program by targeting key knowledge gaps related to drilling in extreme offshore conditions through:
- Improving the ability to predict geologic hazards by identifying subsurface issues early with greater accuracy and faster response time;
- Preventing offshore incidents by managing and minimizing risks associated with drilling and production operations, aging infrastructure, and infrastructure reuse; and
- Minimizing drilling risks to prevent catastrophic offshore incidents and loss of life.
This research develops technologies and information in the public domain that can be used to assess and mitigate risks and costs associated with offshore oil spills prior to and during drilling and production operations. The technologies and advances made will prevent and reduce the impacts from deleterious events associated with offshore hydrocarbon drilling and production, while optimizing and improving the economic potential of domestic offshore hydrocarbon resources.