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Engineers Around the World
Engineers are involved in huge projects around the world. From Washington, D.C. to the east coast of Russia and everywhere in between.
Ireland: The Corrib Gas Field, 70 kilometers off the coast of Ireland, was discovered in 1996. Natural gas occurs 3,300 meters below the ocean floor, under 350 meters of water.
How do you bring gas from nearly 2 miles below the seabed to an onshore production facility? Six deep wells and well clusters, each with a sub-sea control module, tie into a common pipeline that bring the natural gas onto shore. Petroleum engineers and well engineers were key players in the team that tackled this daunting design task.
Gulf of Mexico: Shell’s Na Kika project in the Gulf of Mexico is a deepwater project located in 2,000 meters of water. It’s a new type of project in which six small to medium fields are connected underwater to a single platform. Na Kika began producing gas and oil in 2004. It is located 144 miles southeast of New Orleans.
How are engineers involved? As Shell engineers designed the Na Kika project, they pushed the edge of technology with many impressive firsts. For example, the floating host platform has the deepest mooring in the world for this type of facility. Engineering innovation made this field possible in the first place, since, Na Kika’s six dispersed fields were not individually large enough to make drilling them economical.
East Coast of Russia: Sakhalin II will be the world’s largest single oil and gas plant. It produces liquefied natural gas (LNG) which is easily shipped to consumers in Asia and other parts of the world.
The project director explained that Sakhalin II features “world-beating feats of engineering in the offshore oil and gas industry.” For example, what sort of substructure could support the immense weight of the platform? To solve this problem, engineers designed each leg of the platform’s concrete substructure to have a diameter of 24 meters (78.7 feet) at the base. Meanwhile, chemical engineers created the system that effectively separates oil and gas at facilities on the offshore platform.
Washington, D.C.: Shell Hydrogen teamed with General Motors to establish a hydrogen fueling station in Washington, D.C. This project is just one example of Shell working with others to make hydrogen accessible and affordable to the average consumer.
Mechanical engineers worked to create the infrastructure needed so people in the Washington, D.C. area can use hydrogen, a clean energy source, to fuel their vehicles. Chemical engineers are involved in supplying the hydrogen fuel.