A few years ago, Unocal Corporation built the first deepwater oil & gas production system in Indonesia. The West Seno field is located almost on the equator in the Makassar Strait, east of Borneo, west of Sulawesi. The water depth is over 1,000 meters. West Seno was Unocal’s first floating production system. It consists of a tension-leg drilling and production platform designed for tender-supported drilling, a spread-moored barge floating production unit, and the associated pipelines. Mike will explain how the project was designed, constructed, installed and commissioned in just over 2 years. This required coordination of fabrication work at multiple sites in several countries, and the development of some new technology. As it happened, West Seno was Unocal’s the last major field development.
Mike Utt is a native of Corvallis, Oregon. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1969, and entered the U.S. Navy. He was commissioned an officer in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, and spent most of his active duty time in San Diego. Upon leaving the Navy in 1972, he returned to Oregon State, where he earned a Master’s degree in the Ocean Engineering program.
He joined Union Oil Company of California in 1974. His first job was as an engineer in the Reservoir, Ocean and Arctic Engineering group of the Research Department in Brea, California. In 1986, he became Supervisor of Ocean & Arctic Engineering. In the following years he held several management and technical positions, all related to oil and gas drilling and production technology. In 1995, he moved to Sugar Land, Texas with Unocal’s Exploration & Production Technology group. He retired in 2004 from the position of Manager, Deepwater Technology, in Unocal’s Engineering & Construction organization.
Mike is currently a self-employed engineering consultant, based in Yorba Linda, California.