• Presently there are 17 SPARs in operation
▫ 3 Classic SPARs
▫ 13 Truss SPARs
▫ ONLY 1 Cell SPAR
• All except the Kikeh Truss SPAR , located off the
Malaysian coast, can be found in the Gulf of
• SPAR platforms are used in ultra-deep waters
SPAR Platforms are commonly used in
deep water applications for:
Mad Dog SPAR
• Neptune SPAR
Company Platform Type Year Installed
Kerr-McGee Neptune Classic 1996
ChevronTexaco Genesis Classic 1998
ExxonMobil Hoover Diana Classic 2000
Kerr-McGee Nansen Truss 2001
Murphy Medusa Truss 2002
Kerr-McGee Boomvang Truss 2002
bp Horn Mountain Truss 2002
bp Holstein Truss 2003
Kerr-McGee Gunnison Truss 2004
bp Mad Dog Truss 2005
SPAR Design Considerations
• All SPAR platforms utilize strakes to reduce vortex induced motions
• Anodes are commonly found on SPAR hulls to reduce corrosion
• Different topside decks can be attached to SPARs depending on the
job. Some of these decks are:
▫ A full drilling rig (3,000hp)
▫ A workover rig (600-1,000hp)
▫ Production equipment
• The world’s first production SPAR was used in 1996
• Previously, SPARs had been used as oil
storage vessels (Brent project)
SPAR Design Considerations
There are 3 basic designs
for SPAR Platforms
1. Classic SPAR
2. Truss SPAR
3. Cell SPAR
The different SPAR
designs reflect industry
1. Each design is an
improvement on an older
model and offers improved
functionality at a reduced
• The world’s first production
Classic SPAR, Neptune, was
installed in the Gulf of Mexico in
Classic SPAR Platform
• Oryx Energy developed
Neptune, and was later acquired
by Kerr-McGee in 1999.
• The Classic SPAR hull is
basically a cylinder
• This cylinder is separated into
three main sections:
1. Upper section
Compartmentalized and filled
with air to provide the buoyancy
Flooded with seawater
3. Keel section (“Soft Tank”)
Compartmentalized to aid in
transportation . Also contains
any field-installed ballast.
•Genesis was the second Classic SPAR
•Classic SPARs have 4 major
components: a hull, a mooring
system, risers, and topside decks.
• SPAR designs are inherently
stable due to their deep draft hulls.
•Dry Tree technology can be
utilized on a SPAR platform.
•SPAR platforms tend to be 30%
cheaper than other options in deep
• Truss Platforms were introduced by Kerr-
McGee in 2001 when the Nansen was
installed in the Gulf of Mexico
Truss SPAR Platform
• The Truss SPAR design has 3 main
1. Hard Tank
Provides most of the in-place buoyancy for
1. Truss Section
Supports the heave plates and provides
separation between the keel tank and hard
1. Keel Tank (“Soft Tank”)
Contains the fixed ballast and acts as a
natural hang-off location for export pipelines
and flowlines .
•Shell’s most recent Truss SPAR broke the
deepwater record and will be operational in 2010.
•Truss SPARs are characterized by the tubular
members that provide a connection between
the hard tank and the keel.
•The truss system also support to the heave
plates which reduce improve stability
by reducing heave.
• The Cell SPAR was also designed by Kerr-McGee
in the Red Hawk project
Cell SPAR Platform
• Red Hawk was installed in the Gulf of Mexico and
made operational in 2004
• Cell SPARs have several design features
The Hard Tank is made up of 6 cylindrical tubes that
surround a seventh central tube.
Each of these tubes is 20 ft in diameter and contain
variable-ballast tanks and redundant, independent cells
The middle hull section is an extension of three of the seven
cylindrical tubes, and serves as a rigid connection between
the hard tank and the keel tank.
The lower section, or keel, contains the permanent ballast
Red Hawk SPAR
•First and only Cell SPAR
•The separate tubes
are connected by heave
•Heave plates give the
stability by reducing
the force transferred
from ocean waves
▫ The US does not have a facility large enough to construct SPAR hulls.
Therefore, almost all SPAR hulls have been manufactured overseas ,
typically in Finland, and then transported to the US, which increases the
cost of the project.
▫ The hull of a truss SPAR is smaller, reducing
both material cost and the cost of transportation.
Also for some truss SPARs, the actual truss
system can be made in the US and then mated
with the hard tank when it arrives.
▫ Because of the reduced size of the cylinders,
fabrication of cell SPARs can take place in the US,
meaning that there is no transportation cost.
• SPAR designs are the most economical for ultra-
• By utilizing a mooring system instead of
permanent legs, SPAR platforms reduce materials
cost and can be moved to different wells.
• Oryx spent $300 million on
Neptune, the world’s first
production SPAR platform.
• Neptune was estimated to
save Oryx and it’s 50/50
partner $90 million.
•Later the two completed halves are
•The Hard Tank of a Truss
SPAR is constructed in
•Then the two halves are
joined to form the top of the
Truss SPAR’s Hard Tank
• The SPAR hull •The hull is joined and towed
is shipped in out to the well location.
sections that will
later be mated
•The SPAR hull is then flooded with
seawater and up-ended. Once in
place, the hull is connected to the •The topsides are then
already installed mooring system. attached to the SPAR hull.
SPAR construction timeline:
•“Industry Projects.” Offshore Technology. 2009. 21 Apr. 2009 <http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/>.
• “Offshore: ABS to Class Cell Spar for Kerr-McGee.” Marine Link. 2 Apr. 2003. 19 Apr. 2009
•quot;Perdido Development Project.quot; Shell. 5 Sept. 2008. Shell oil. 20 Apr. 2009
•“SparTEC.” FloaTEC. 2009. 20 Apr. 2009 <http://www.floatec.com/spar.htm>.
•Ultramarine, Inc. Welcome to Ultramarine. 1996. 24 Apr. 2009 <http://www.ultramarine.com>.
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