Exxon's Offshore Platform Nearly Doubles Water-Depth Record

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 3, Pg. 51-54

Document Type: Feature article


In 1976, Exxon erected near Santa Barbara (Los Angeles metropolitan area) the Hondo platform, in 850 ft of water. This is nearly twice the previous record depth established in the North Sea. Tough design criteria for earthquakes, wave forces and fatigue were met with a frame of steel tubes about 900 ft long and up to 54-in. diameter. Alternatives considered were satellite underwater completions, subsea production systems, and fixed pile-founded structures. The last was selected. Of structures of this type, two sub-classes were considered: self-floaters (that float thanks to fat legs) and those carried to the site by a barge. The latter was selected. Among factors making this record-depth platform: It was fabricated on its side in two pieces, simplifying transport to the site. Easing connection of the two pieces as they floated on their sides near the site was an innovation — stabbing cones. Highlights of design and placement are reported.

Subject Headings: Offshore platforms | Steel frames | Underwater structures | Urban areas | Seas and oceans | Seismic design | Earthquakes | Wave forces | Los Angeles | California | United States | North Sea

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