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University of Houston. Peart, Doug. July 16, 2009. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 22, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/2356.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

University of Houston. (July 16, 2009). Peart, Doug. Oral Histories from the Houston History Project. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/2356

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

University of Houston, Peart, Doug, July 16, 2009, Oral Histories from the Houston History Project, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 22, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/2356.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Peart, Doug
Creator (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Creator (Local)
  • Houston History Project
Contributor (LCNAF)
  • Theriot, Jason P., 1975-, interviewer
Date July 16, 2009
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Energy development
Subject.Name (Local)
  • Peart, Doug
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • interviews
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Format (IMT)
  • application/pdf
Original Item Location ID 2006-005, HHA 01016
Original Collection Oral Histories - Houston History Project
Digital Collection Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
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File Name hhaoh_201604_177.pdf
Transcript HHA# 01016 Page 1 of 5 Interviewee: Doug Peart Interview: July 16, 2009 University of Houston 1 Houston History Archives BOEM DEEPWATER GULF OF MEXICO HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Doug Peart Date: July 16, 2009 Place: Houston, TX Interviewer: Jason Theriot Ethnographic preface: Doug Peart graduated from Tulane University in 1977 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He promptly went to work for Shell in New Orleans. After working onshore on production projects for a number of years, Peart became a production superintendent offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. As deepwater drilling began to rise in the early 1990s, Peart was called to become a deepwater project manager for Shell’s subsea systems, heading up the first such group, chartered in 1993. Peart helped to bring major Shell projects like Tahoe, Auger, Popeye, and Mensa from design to first production. Interview JT: This is an interview with Mr. Doug Peart and we are at Shell’s Woodcreek facility on July 16, 2009. We are interviewing Doug for the MMS Deepwater Project. The interviewer is Jason Theriot. Doug tell me a little bit about where you are from, your academic background, and how you got involved in engineering. DP: Ok. I actually grew up in New Orleans and went to Tulane. I graduated in mechanical engineering in 1977 and went to work directly for Shell; they had an office downtown. I was working originally in onshore in the production engineering business, so that’s why my background was a little unique to what most people do and how they got there. And I came through more of a well-HHA# 01016 Page 2 of 5 Interviewee: Doug Peart Interview: July 16, 2009 University of Houston 2 Houston History Archives engineering kind of background, so well completions for prospecting for workover opportunities, remedial well work. I had grown up in that particular discipline. And had a number of first level supervisor roles around production engineering, reservoir engineering, both in New Orleans onshore and offshore; some of the high pressure gas work we were doing back in probably late 70s early 80s. Came to Houston and worked in some CO2 floods in West Texas. Went back to New Orleans and worked in some coastal properties, so Black Bayou, Good Hope, places like that. And ultimately went back to an offshore environment that included things like East Bay, and such, and took on an operations role as production superintendent for a number of units in the Gulf of Mexico, and then a drilling workover superintendent. So I had a number of contract rig operations going in the Gulf of Mexico. And that took me about half of my 32 years. Then somebody decided that there was this opportunity in deep water, particularly deepwater subsea that needed a more of a “wells” perspective and a operations perspective. I think up to that point it had been really more of a facilities kind-of thought process and there was an opportunity to bring in a little more wells thinking into that operations thinking. So they essentially suggested that I take this roll in deep water as project manager subsea systems. That was back in—about half way through—so 1993, early 90s. JT: So before Auger. DP: By that time we didn’t have any deep water production at all. We were in the mist of Tahoe I, which would be our first deep water subsea well. Auger was in the process. Then in probably April or January 1994—somewhere in that first quarter of 1994—we actually brought Tahoe onto production. Then shortly thereafter Auger came into play. JT: So what were you able to bring into this new area, this new unexplored area, in using subseas into a tie-back system for an existing production facility? DP: We didn’t have a real familiarity with the technology. Much of it was new. We were able to glean some things from Petrobras in Brazil. We were able to get some things from some North Sea operations that we had in shallow water subsea systems. And we pulled that together, what was out there, the latest thinking, with a number of contractors and we were able to pull together an actual working system in deep water. I think the piece that was the big stretch was that we’ve now gone passed diver depth. And you were in remote operations depth, and that was a big challenge. So, how did you operate the system? What were the flow HHA# 01016 Page 3 of 5 Interviewee: Doug Peart Interview: July 16, 2009 University of Houston 3 Houston History Archives assurance issues with producing in deep water, colder temperatures? How, in reasonably high pressure gas, did you effectively make seals work and connections work in underwater remotely? And so that was really a key driver for us as we moved into Tahoe I. So we had Tahoe, which was the first approach. We knew we had Popeye, working hard to make a economic venture—it was pretty tough, a tough road, but we had that on the horizon that really took us to more of a diver-less—our first attempt at a real diver-less subsea system. Then we knew we had Mensa out there on the horizon, which at the time was 5,500 feet; it was perceived of as pretty substantial technologies that were circling in kind of world record territory. JT: Very interesting. Looking forward at 10 or 15 years, you’ve got all these other properties to develop, and so subsea has got to be a major component of that. DP: I think that was really the rational for coming into that piece, sort of creating a business around deep water subsea. When I first got into that role with that group that I had at the time—roughly half a dozen engineers, that was it—myself and a half dozen other engineers, by the time we had gotten through with Mensa, we had gotten up to about 40, and we knew we had a portfolio of opportunities, and we would get an opportunity to work. So it was helpful in that it began to drive our strategy for how we wanted to get at this portfolio. And that was learn, find what was working well, repeat those things, and focus our energy on the things that were new, that were a stretch, that were not quite in the optimum place. JT: Let’s see if we can take this in a different direction because one of the key issues we are looking at is the difference between gas and oil, particularly when you are dealing with big projects. The focus is usually on oil obviously, but the projects that you mentioned, some of the later projects, Na Kika, and going back to Mensa and Popeye, these a big gas fields. So my question is what are some of differences and some of the uniquenesses of big gas deep water type-project vs. the big oil and gas projects from the geology to an economic perspective or subsea systems or pipelines? If you could elaborate on these difference to try to get a comparison. DP: So with the portfolio that we had... Recorded Interview ends (recorder malfunction) Written notes picked up from here HHA# 01016 Page 4 of 5 Interviewee: Doug Peart Interview: July 16, 2009 University of Houston 4 Houston History Archives DP: One of the main differences between subsea oil and gas was flow assurance. Oil is more complex because of all the parafins and wax. Gas is less complex; it’s produced through a straight pipe, but the mileage back to shore was longer like Mensa. Producing oil from subsea is more dynamic. Perdido is a really big difference. It’s in a different reservoir regime with less pressure. Before, in other fields, there was much more pressure and its in nine thousand feet of water apposed to two or three thousand feet as in Mensa. We are using 1,500 hp electric sub-pumps to pump in water and push out the oil from 30,000 feet. In the TLP case, the facility supplies all the power, hydraulics, and chemicals through an umbilical cord to the subsea, which is the life of the subsea. Underwater “Extension cords” are used to tie in the different wells. Some of the first subsea systems in deep water were tried in the North Sea and by Petrobras in Brazil. There was technology exchange of subsea in deep water between Brazil, North Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. The first subsea was in the Gulf of Mexico in Eugene Island 330, or right off it. (this is the experimental one-atmosphere subsea system developed by Lou Wilkerson’s team and Lockhead. Doug has a large photograph—perhaps the only one is existence— of this rather large subsea manifold rising above the water with ballast tanks, a man-hole chamber, connector hoses, and a few men on walking on the equipment. One of them is Lou Wilkerson.) Doug headed up the first subsea group (April 1993), which eventually grew in size and eventually pulled into a larger group that included subsea, pipeline, and well completion. He oversees a “flow assurance” group. Two potential interviewees from this group are: Allen Leitko and Denis Schneider. Schneider was in the original 1993 group, which consisted of 1) umbilical engineer 2) systems engineer 3) facility engineer (top sides) 4) project engineer and hardware Big challenges/problem solving from Tahoe subsea to Na Kika subsea: Higher pressure, greater water depths, dynamic and fatigue potential for the connector equipment (risers) and the floating facility, complexity of flow assurance—needed more “complex cocktails of chemicals” for flow assurance. Chemicals used to “melt” the hydrates, paraffins, and wax that could clog or rupture the pipe tie-in in colder temperatures and greater depths. HHA# 01016 Page 5 of 5 Interviewee: Doug Peart Interview: July 16, 2009 University of Houston 5 Houston History Archives With good experience with gas subsea at Tahoe, Popeye, Mensa, this made “oil” subsea possible. “Opportunity to learn as we took bigger challenges.” Mars was the first subsea oil well with a very short tie-back to the host platform (so they didn’t try anything too complicated.) This progressed into other systems and led to Na Kika, with mulitiple clusters of oil and gas subsea wells that are powered by a large floating facility. BC-10 in Brazil is using an FPSO subsea tie back and Perdido is using a SPAR subsea system (9K ft of water). Bonga offshore Nigeria is using similar FPSO subsea, as is Gumasu in deep water Malaysia. Risers: Deep water systems use Direct Vertical Access Risers to TLP. Issues with risers is the motion, friction, and fatigue when moving as the TLP moves or moving with ocean currents—a phenomenon called “VIV” or Vortex Induced Vibration. In this process, riser fatigue increases and “gets eaten up” by the constant motion so you need VIV suppression tools, called VIV “Strakes” (like propellers on the riser) to deflect the currents. The riser consists of a few sections; one of the most important and difficult to maintain is the Alistimar—the “rubber” piece on the TLP that is a flex joint that connects the pipe to the facility. Other contractors to contact: -Dick Frisbie (ret) at Oceaneering – early subsea -Kevin McEvoy at Oceaneering – Shell’s current contact -John Gremp at FMC for subsea trees -Duco in Panama City manufactures the umbilical cords -Bayou Pipe Coating in New Iberia manufactures the risers.