A fundamental requirement for offshore E&P companies is offshore platforms. Whether rigs, floating platforms or artificial islands, designing and building an offshore infrastructure to facilitate exploration activities and support the production activities for the lifetime of the field are essential. On the production side, operations and maintenance of these platforms, if rigs, is also critical, especially as fields are now being forced to operate beyond original design life.
In Abu Dhabi, several artificial islands are being constructed as they are seen as the safest, most cost effective alternatives with minimal maintenance requirements for the operation purposes (concrete corrosion still a concern, but less than metal). In Qatar, jack up rigs and in few cases FPSOs are being considered, whilst in Saudi, custom made rigs are being designed and engineered to specifically suite their requirements. Saudi Arabia, for its Manifa offshore heavy field, the world’s 5th largest field, is being connected by main land via a 41 km causeway, much safer and cheaper to operate than an isolated platform. As the field is producing heavy crude, it will require major staffing and support, hence its need for land connection.