Two Firms Win Contracts for BP's Project 20K

Both contract winners are based in Houston. The project is an attempt to develop next-generation systems and tools for developing deepwater oil and gas that current technologies cannot reach.

BP announced Nov. 12 it has awarded contracts to two Houston-based companies, KBR and FMC Technologies, to bring its Project 20K™ to fruition. Launched in February 2012, the project aims to develop next-generation systems and tools to recover deepwater oil and gas resources that are beyond the reach of existing technology. These are the first two contracts BP has awarded for the project.

Specifically, technologies are needed "to explore for, develop, and produce oil and gas from high-temperature and high-pressure reservoirs up to 20,000 pounds per square inch (psi) and temperatures as high as 350°F (175°C)," according to BP's announcement, which said KBR -– formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root -- will develop program execution and management plans for Project 20K, including capital cost and schedule estimates, risk assessments, and technical designs. FMC Technologies will work with BP to design and develop 20,000 psi-rated subsea production equipment, including a High Integrity Pressure Protection System.

Currently available equipment has a technical limit of 15,000 psi pressure and temperatures of 250°F, according to the announcement.

Additional technologies will be needed. At the project's launch, BP said it planned to develop technologies during the next decade in four key areas: well design and completions; drilling rigs, riser, and blowout prevention equipment; subsea production systems; and well intervention and containment.

"With this project, BP truly is leading the way to the next frontier in deepwater oil and gas development, and as today's announcement demonstrates, is tapping into expertise from across the industry to tackle this significant challenge," said Jackie Mutschler, head of Upstream Technology at BP America. "We hope these first contracts are just the beginning of what's to come with a project that holds such great promise, not just for BP, but for the entire industry."

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