Exploration - Production | - Total in Angola

A 3,000 meter horizontal well under the sea, off Cabinda in Angola.... that was our idea !

When studies to launch the AngolaTotal AngolaShow more LNG project started, a major challenge appeared: how to bring associated gas from Block 14 in Cabinda to the LNG plant? The onshore route was not politically robust, while the offshore route crossed the steep and deep subsea canyon of the Zaire river. Somehow, the challenge came to the ears of the drilling engineering department manager, Thierry Delahaye, who was my boss at that time. We had just completed a series of record-breaking horizontal wells in Tierra Del Fuego, up to 10km-long, and the idea of drilling horizontally 3,000m under the seabed did not seem too difficult. Yet, it was completely iconoclastic, but we moved on and sent a 3 page memo to the technical representative of Total in the joint-venture (operated by Chevron). After a few months, he came back asking for a more detailed study, which we provided... Then, no news for many years, until 2009 when Chevron started communicating about the project, which was finally executed in 2014-2016... about 15 years later! For me, it was like dreaming of sending a spacecraft to the moon, and then see it happening. A second crossing is planned for 2020... It might well become an industry standard!

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