Miles under the water a ship that links pipeline on the ocean floor and an immense gas processing platform designed to float in a stormy Gulf of Mexico all part of a daring plan a network of natural gas wells and pipelines in the deepest water yet 9,000 feet down and a hurricane season is on the way for this team.
Time the Gulf of Mexico beneath these waters lies.
Some of the world’s richest natural gas fields now an ambitious plan is underway to harvest that energy from the ground it’s.
Called the independence project the goal drill wells and lay pipeline to get the natural gas to a central processing platform and.
Then to shore where it’s sold natural gas networks have been around for a long time they come.
And death but no projects ever been attempted in waters this deep for years thousands of underwater holes have lined the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico they supply.
20% of the natural gas to cook in heat homes in the United States but the demand continues to grow and the wells in the Gulf are already working at capacity energy companies have long known that gas reserves existed in the Gulf’s deepwater but the technology didn’t exist to drill here beyond the continental shelf and 9,000 feet down until now it’s the most daring effort yet.
In the race for more energy from the deep sea.
A team of mega machines has been hard at work for months building a vast deep-sea gas network they have five main.
Challenges drill 15 wells through nearly two miles of water and almost three miles of sea floor in an 1,800 square mile gas field.
Lay pipe line connecting H well to a central processing platform install cables along the pipeline so that engineers on the platform can control the flow of gas from each well drive massive pilings to anchor the central processing platform to the ocean floor and finally build a huge pipeline to deliver the gas from the processing platform 135 miles to land construction on the processing platform is underway here in Ingleside Texas once it’s installed in the open ocean this platform will be the hub of the network purifying the natural gas and.
Sending it back to shore but first there’s.
A gas network to build enter the mega movers the deep water millennium will tackle the first job drilling the wells next the lower lay will build a network of pipelines to connect the wells to the central platform the.
Toys of Perseus will run control cables along the pipeline and only one ship can tackle the next step building the monster pipeline to the shoreline the solitaire installing the huge anchor pilings is the job of the Balder meanwhile another team of mega machines constructs the massive gas processing platform the platform is.
City block in order to float above the gas fields in the Gulf it must be attached to this huge 4 towered Hall which is on route to the Gulf atop an amazing ship the mighty servant 3 mounting the huge platform on the hall will be one of the heaviest lifts ever that’s when the.
Crane light heavy lift device will.
Swing into action to get the network up and running each of these machines will have to do its job perfectly but Mother Nature can wreak havoc on even the best laid plans the Gulf of Mexico is notorious for powerful storms and summer is peak hurricane season seven major storms made 2005 the worst hurricane season on record and the most devastating in memory this year could be.
Even worse the first jaw is getting the gas wells up and running months ago the Deepwater millennium drilled wells for this project the ship’s drill pipe reached 9,000 feet down to the seafloor and dug in then it.
Punched through another three miles of seafloor to reach pockets of natural.
Gas an incredible five miles below the water’s surface now the deep water millennium will answer the two billion dollar question will enough gas flow freely to make this well worth tapping to test the gas flow the ship must gently lower.
This delicate column of valves and sensors to the bottom of the well the Millennium is perfectly designed for the job.
She’s a drill ship at 726 feet she stretches longer than two football fields a.
Huge tower on her deck called a derrick will lift the column and lower it.
Into the water through a hole in the middle of the ship the column will descend to the well through this pipe almost 9,000 feet of steel tubing that stretches from the ocean.
Surface all the way to the top of the well once the testing equipment is installed in the well engineers on the ship can determine if natural gas is flowing freely the millenniums crew prepares to lower the testing column into the well pipe it takes a delicate touch is it all the way up if the column smacks into anything it could damage the critical seals that keep gas in and water out watch.
Your fingers Harley the bunch of place.
You’ve been the crew lines up the column at the top.
Of the well pipe and begins to lower it a bundler Oh but suddenly it stops descending a jammed column could mean costly delays if we change that assembly out then you’re probably looking at 10 to 12 hours you’re ready to tell him to stop if we start stroking his lock man only to stop stop stop the crew examines the column to figure out what’s gone wrong it refuses to budge they try to gently.
Wiggle the test column I said you look what you got is you gotta push it that way burning down you want to watch this a lock madam that does the trick good and the column finally slides into place it’ll take two days for the testing equipment to reach its destination two days before the crew can answer the critical question will a well drilled in the deepest water yet actually work the deep water millennium hovers above a gas well in the Gulf of Mexico after.
Several setbacks and delays the crew gets the sign they’ve been waiting for the testing equipment has reached the well nine thousand feet down it’s time to see if this well can produce for the deep sea independence project with the touch of a computer screen engineers open the valves deep inside the well and gas begins to flow the crew monitors.
Every sensor involved the test is a success gas is flowing freely from the well the Millennium has successfully gotten 15 whales up and running now it’s time for step two of the independence project laying the pipeline that will connect each well to the processing platform it’ll.