BP’s discovery of the Mad Dog Field in 1998 is its biggest in the Gulf of Mexico to date. Initial production began in 2005, and now, the project has extended into the second development stage.

BP teamed with Subsea Integration Alliance on the Mad Dog 2 project to reduce costs and enhance efficiencies via the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of a supplier-led standard technical solution that integrates a subsea production system (SPS) with a subsea umbilical, riser, and flowline (SURF) system. Through the EPC contract, OneSubsea is supplying a standard subsea production system including 14 production trees, six water-injection trees, manifolds, topside and subsea controls, flowmeters, and jumpers. The first six 10,000-psi production trees have been successfully landed, locked, and tested subsea.

The journey started in late 2015 with early engagement with BP, and then moved through the tender process; execution strategizing; assembly and testing in Johor, Indonesia, and extended factory-acceptance testing (EFAT) and modular system-integration testing (MSIT) in Berwick, Louisiana; and finally, the installation in the Gulf of Mexico. This project highlights the benefits of standardization and efficient project execution. Production from Mad Dog 2 is expected late 2021.

Engineering Agility Manager Brent Gable and Program Manager Charles Henderson, OneSubsea, highlight the benefits of an agile standardization approach and efficient project execution for the Mad Dog 2 project.

The Benefits of Standardization
BP and OneSubsea collaborate on Mad Dog 2 project.

What is the OneSubsea standard offering, and how does standardization play a role in the Mad Dog 2 project?

Brent: The OneSubsea standard offering includes a suite of products created from preengineered, configurable components capable of producing a system solution. These solutions leverage field-proven standard designs, documentation, processes, and procedures. Standardization only truly exists within our industry when operators collaborate and align with suppliers to embrace the supplier’s standard solution. This enables a single standard to be used for multiple operators on projects globally. The Mad Dog 2 project utilizes OneSubsea standard production trees, connectors, controls, and manifolds to comprise an overall system solution.

How does standardization benefit the Mad Dog 2 project?

Charles: The Mad Dog 2 project has reaped substantial benefits from the OneSubsea standardization approach. We have realized substantial alignments between OneSubsea and BP in equipment designs, specifications, and requirements. This has enabled us to define and develop a full suite of equipment, reduce overall engineering time and resources, and optimize life-of-field support assets, to name a few.

Brent: Quite simply, standardization improved the economic viability in all areas of the project which enabled project sanctioning. The OneSubsea standard offering coupled with Subsea Integration Alliance produced field optimizations which led to significant cost reductions and optimized delivery. The early engagements yielded an optimized field architecture leveraging standard equipment designs.

How did the prospect of ‘standardization’ influence OneSubsea’s approach during early engagements with BP?

Charles: From the start, the Mad Dog 2 execution strategy was to leverage the benefits of OneSubsea standardized equipment by providing a supplier-led solution that yielded substantial execution and cost efficiencies. Both BP and OneSubsea technical and project teams were fully committed to demonstrating the effectiveness of this strategy, and great efforts were made by both organizations to ensure close collaboration, open and robust discourse, and find ways to drive both organizations to maximize the utilization of standard products.

Brent: Prior to formal engagements, we recognized a step change was necessary to achieve economic viability for the project. It needed to reduce life-of-field costs through improved reliability, standard operating procedures, and minimized spares. The OneSubsea standard offering was the only solution capable of optimizing each of those facets.

“We need to create a sustainable standardization culture. This requires in-depth knowledge and commercial alignment of the supplier standard to streamline the tendering phase.” Engineering Agility Manager Brent Gable, OneSubsea

How did OneSubsea work with BP to enable BP to embrace the use of standard products?

Charles: From the start we embraced honest and open collaboration. Our quality assurance and control systems played a major role in gaining and maintaining BP’s confidence in our supplier-led execution strategy. Significant effort was devoted to joint design verifications and reviews, and OneSubsea actively engaged with the BP teams to explain the basis of designs and specifications of our standard products.

Brent: OneSubsea didn’t just showcase a vision of a potential solution in early engagements; we provided BP an actual solution with concrete details of a very mature standard product offering. This enabled BP certainty in our commercial commitments. In conjunction with the flexibility and versatility of Subsea Integration Alliance, the standard designs offered clear functional and foundational requirements and minimized interfaces to create unprecedented clarity and collaboration between operator, supplier, and installation contractor.

What were the advantages of this approach for BP?

Charles: Overall, we have achieved over 70% OneSubsea standardization on the Mad Dog 2 project. The acceptance of so much standard equipment has enabled BP in the Gulf of Mexico and North and South America regions to develop a catalog of standard equipment suitable for Mad Dog 2 and other regional projects. This has directly led to improved delivery times on major equipment components and efficiencies in design resources.

Brent: Embracing standardization was an enabler that supported BP to sanction a project at a 50% reduction in capex. It also granted BP access to stocked components and allowed ordering of other components immediately which improved delivery certainty. Both OneSubsea and BP were able to leverage smaller project teams and more efficient communication between organizations.

The standard configuration of the tree has enabled BP to be flexible by reassigning trees to other fields globally and fast-track production by bringing brownfield wells online as quick as possible. Manufacturing has created efficiency as well. One of the Mad Dog 2 trees was assembled and prepared for testing in 13 days in our Johor facility, showcasing the benefits of leveraging supply chain efficiencies and repeat designs.

What is the future of standardization in our industry?

Charles: Standardization is here to stay. The concept has already caught the attention of the industry and will continue to be an important factor driving cost and delivery efficiencies in subsea production systems. We see substantial efforts being made to develop industry-wide specifications that will continue to drive the move towards utilizing standards, and all major players—both operators and service providers—are fully engaged.

Brent: BP was an early adopter of supplier standards, and since the Mad Dog 2 project was awarded in 2017, the industry has gone through a paradigm shift with most operators accepting supplier standards. Additionally, IOGP S-561 is starting to be integrated into operator specifications and influence other industry standards to further facilitate the acceptance of supplier standards. Standardization will become more refined and mature in the coming years as the culture of the subsea industry continues to become more accepting and is applied to projects. However, a sustained and relentless commitment from operators and suppliers is required to enable the full benefits of standardization to be realized.

What are the next steps in furthering our collaborative approach on standardization to create more value in projects?

Charles: We continue to engage our clients as early as possible to help them understand the substantial advantages, both on a project basis and an overall programmatical approach to standardizing equipment. With the BP North and South America and Gulf of Mexico teams utilizing a program approach based on proven designs, preapproved specifications and procedures has proved effective in creating better value in projects.

Brent: We need to create a sustainable standardization culture. No longer is standardization an alternate bid, but it is the base case. This requires in-depth knowledge and commercial alignment of the supplier standard to streamline the tendering phase. Since the OneSubsea standard offering has alignment across multiple international oil companies, it is imperative we maintain the robust governance protocol customers expect. OneSubsea is leading the industry on governance and is working to provide proactive communication and consulting with customers on potential changes to the standard offering. This provides certainty in the standard offering and commitment to maintain and improve standard solutions through collaboration.

About Subsea Integration Alliance

Subsea Integration Alliance is a nonincorporated strategic global alliance between Subsea 7 and OneSubsea, the subsea technologies, production and processing systems division of Schlumberger, bringing together field development planning, project delivery, and total lifecycle solutions under an extensive technology and services portfolio.

As one team, Subsea Integration Alliance amplifies subsea performance by helping customers to select, design, deliver, and operate the smartest subsea projects. This eliminates costly revisions, avoids delays, and reduces risk across the life of field.

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Gulf of Mexico, United States, North America, Offshore
Engineering Agility Manager Brent Gable and Program Manager Charles Henderson, OneSubsea
Article Topics
Deep Water Subsea Intervention  Integrated Oilfield Projects Programs & Partnerships Subsea Production