The hull of the world's largest spar production facility, the Perdido Regional Development, has made its way to a Texas shipyard and soon, it will be enroute to Alaminos Canyon Block 857 in the Gulf of Mexico. It's been a long voyage from a shipyard in Finland to the Texas Gulf Coast--but it's journey isn't over yet. There are a lot of ways to describe the hull of the Perdido -- huge, giant, ginormous, large. They will all do. The Perdido, as tall as the Effiel Tower -- about 1,000 feet tall and weighing about 10,000 tons -- will be moored in 8,000 feet of water and be capable of delivering 100,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of gas per day to the mainland. According to the partners who own the Perdido are: Royal Dutch Shell, 35%; Chevron, 37.5% and BP, 27.5%. Production is scheduled to begin around the turn of the decade. Now, let's jump back to November 2006. Construction of hull begins at the Technip construction yard in Pori, Finland. After 2 million man hours, the spar's hull was finished and it set sail for the U.S. on May 27. The spar is now at the Kiewit Offshore Services fabrication yard in Ingleside, Texas. Workers from Shell, Technip and Kiewit will work to get the hull ready for the next stage of its journey. In August, the hull will be towed to its final resting spot in the Gulf. Heerema Marine Construction will upend the hull, attach nine mooring cables to the seafloor and the next phase will begin. Kiewit has the contract to build and fabricate the Perdido's topisde structure. This will include the production equipment, drilling rig and living quarter.s This part will be mated with the hull in 2009. The Perdido Spar will drill, gather and process oil and gas from three fields when completed. When all is said and done, another key puzzle to the nation's energy future will be sitting in the Gulf of Mexico waiting to come to life.

–John A. Sullivan, News Editor, Oil and Gas Investor,,