Floating production systems

Audubon Engineering Wins Salamanca Work

LLOG Exploration looks to engineering partner to assist with its ambitious platform re-use project in the Gulf of Mexico.

decommissioned Independence Hub deep-draft semisubmersible
The decommissioned Independence Hub deep-draft semisubmersible quayside at Kiewit Offshore Services in Ingleside, Texas.
Source: Blake Wright.

Audubon Engineering has been tapped by producer LLOG Exploration to provide detailed design services as well as procurement, vendor equipment management, construction, pre-commissioning, and offshore commissioning support for its Salamanca project in the US Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

Rather than undertaking a new build, LLOG is repurposing the existing Independence Hub facility, renamed Salamanca. This marks the first time in the GOM that an operator will have accomplished such an undertaking for an existing semisubmersible production facility. The project has a significant positive impact on environmental, social, and governance due to its reuse of an existing unit rather than abandoning the unit. The project will also reduce emissions by about 70% compared to new unit construction, according to LLOG.

The hull, topside truss, cranes, and lifeboats will be reused with minor modifications. All other topside equipment, including piping, instrumentation, and electrical systems, will be new and fit for purpose.

The column-stabilized Salamanca floating production systems (FPS) will be installed in Keathley Canyon Block 689 and produce the nearby Leon and Castile discoveries. Situated at a water depth of 6,400 ft, the platform will include processing facilities capable to 60,000 BOPD, 25,000 BWPD, and 40 MMcf/D of natural gas.

Initial production from the joint development is expected mid-2025.

Independence Hub was decommissioned in 2019. The last well at the Anadarko Petroleum-led project ceased production in December 2015, after just 8-plus years of operation. The facility produced more than 1.3 Tcf of gas during that span, exceeding initial projections for the project by more than 30%.