In the Gulf of Mexico, in underwater terrain akin to a mountain range in waters reaching 10,000 ft deep, Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell plc, its partners and an extensive team of contractors are setting records for ultradeep oil and gas engineering, construction and development. At 7,817 ft, the Perdido project will be the deepest spar platform in the world as well as the deepest drilling and production facility. It also will have the deepest producing subsea well, at 9,627 ft, and will deploy the first commercial-scale subsea oil-and-gas separation plant. Photo: Shell Oil Co. Perdido’s topsides were towed to the
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.