Technology lets producers move jobs from platforms to land

Paul Morel used to go out to Shell's Olympus platform to help operate it. Now he works in a New Orleans office. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

Paul Morel used to go out to Shell’s Olympus platform to help operate it. Now he works in a New Orleans office. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

NEW ORLEANS — From a glass-enclosed work­station on the 22nd floor of Shell Oil Co.’s New Orleans office, control room operator Paul Morel does his job as if he were offshore.

Surrounded by at least a dozen computer monitors, Morel helps operate and monitor production from Olympus, the company’s largest facility in the Gulf of Mexico.  It is the centerpiece of a multibillion-dollar effort that the company expects eventually will produce 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

His work is part of an effort by Shell and other offshore players to move a growing number of jobs historically performed at sea onto land.

In a story at HoustonChronicle.com, FuelFix reporter Ryan Holeywell, looks at how Shell officials say they’ve made their biggest deployment yet of technological and operational changes that allow land-based workers to participate in the day-to-day work of offshore oil production.

Also on  FuelFix, you  can learn more about the the 18,000-mile journey of the Olympus hull, which was hauled through multiple bodies of water last year from its construction site in South Korea. The towering structure met up with its topsides at a shipyard near Corpus Christi, Texas, before tugboats towed it out to the Mars field.

 

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