Chevron Commences Operations on Next-Generation Drillship in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico
SAN RAMON, Calif., May 7, 2012 – Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) announced that the Pacific Santa Ana, a deepwater drillship built to Chevron's specifications, has arrived in the Gulf of Mexico to work for Chevron under a five-year contract with a subsidiary of Pacific Drilling S.A. (NYSE: PACD). Pacific Santa Ana is the first drillship designed with the capacity to perform dual gradient drilling (DGD).
"Pacific Santa Ana will enable us to demonstrate dual gradient drilling, which has the potential to change the way deepwater wells are drilled," said George Kirkland, vice chairman, Chevron Corporation. "This new process builds on our record of technology leadership in deepwater."
"The addition of Pacific Santa Ana as Chevron's fifth drillship in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico demonstrates our long-term commitment to developing America's energy resources," said Gary Luquette, president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company. "We are bullish on the Gulf, where robust energy exploration and development is vital to our nation's economy and energy security."
Unlike conventional deepwater drilling, which uses a single drilling fluid weight in the borehole, dual gradient drilling employs two weights of drilling fluid – one above the seabed, another below. This allows drillers to more closely match the pressures presented by nature and effectively eliminates water depth as a consideration in well design. DGD also allows drillers to more quickly detect and appropriately react to downhole pressure changes, which can enhance the safety and efficiency of deepwater drilling operations.
Pacific Santa Ana is equipped with a DGD riser, a mud lift pump handling system, six mud pumps – three for drilling fluid and three for seawater – extensive fluid management system enhancements and more than 72,000 feet of DGD-related cables. After additional equipment is installed and tested, Pacific Santa Ana will be used for exploratory and development drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT RELEVANT TO FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF "SAFE HARBOR" PROVISIONS OF THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995.
Some of the items discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements about Chevron's activities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. These statements are based upon management's current expectations, estimates and projections; are not guarantees of future performance; and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the company's control and are difficult to predict. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are changes in prices of, demand for and supply of crude oil and natural gas; actions of competitors; the inability or failure of the company’s joint-venture partners to fund their share of operations and development activities; the potential failure to achieve expected net production from existing and future crude oil and natural gas development projects; potential delays in the development, construction or start-up of planned projects; the potential disruption or interruption of the company’s net production or manufacturing facilities or delivery/transportation networks due to war, accidents, political events, civil unrest, or severe weather; government-mandated sales, divestitures, recapitalizations, industry-specific taxes, changes in fiscal terms or restrictions on scope of company operations; foreign currency movements compared with the U.S. dollar: and general economic and political conditions. The reader should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Unless legally required, Chevron undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Updated: May 2012