Offshore/subsea systems

BP’s Argos FPU Offers Fresh Lessons for the Future of Deepwater GOM Projects

The supermajor redefined its Mad Dog II development in three key ways: a blank-sheet redesign to cut costs, altering the way it works as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a digital twin offering unique access to the asset from anywhere in the world.

The Argos FPU moored on location in the Green Canyon area of the US GOM.
The <i>Argos</i> FPU moored on location in the Green Canyon area of the US GOM.
Source: BP.

Tipping the scales at well over 60,000 tons, BP’s Argos platform is a giant among giants in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Standing 27 stories tall, the platform has a deck the length and width of an American football field and is one of BP’s largest in the region. One-time KBR subsidiary GVA designed the semisubmersible, the centerpiece of the supermajor’s $9 billion Mad Dog II project built to unlock additional production potential of the Miocene-aged reservoirs estimated to hold more than 5 billion bbl of oil in place.

But that wasn’t always the plan.

Over a decade ago, BP’s Mad Dog II looked quite different. On paper, the producer was looking at an all-subsea development tied back to another large spar platform—dubbed Big Dog—to host the additional reserves. The development plan envisioned a massive truss spar.

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