Concrete Colossus

by J. L. Mitcha, Jr., General Manager of Operations; Conoco Inc., Houston, TX,
C. E. Morrison, Project Manager, Topsides; Conoco Inc., Houston, TX,
Joao G. de Oliveira, Project Manager, Substructure; Conoco Inc., Houston TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 3, Pg. 36-39

Document Type: Feature article


After finding 120 million cubic meters of oil and 30 billion standard cubic meters of natural gas 175 kilometers off the Norwegian coast, Houston-based Conoco, Inc. was faced with a second challenge: help Norway's Statoil reach 375 meters down to the sea floor to get it. The result was a number of impressive solutions: the first offshore floating platform made of lightweight concrete, modular topside facilities attached to two beams instead of a complete support frame, direct shuttle loading of oil tankers, the assembly of large, off-shore structures without expensive heavy-lift vessels, new records in underwater pipeline towing. Through close supervision of its subcontractors and a good working relationship with the client, Conoco achieved another impressive result: despite a one-year delay in the approval process, the six year project was completed only two months behind schedule and less than five percent over budget.

Subject Headings: Underwater structures | Underwater pipelines | Offshore structures | Offshore platforms | Concrete frames | Ships | Sea floor

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