PORT OF FOURCHON, LA — If Edison Chouest Offshore and local businessman Jim Moncus have their way, Port Fourchon soon could be home to two new offshore facilities.
Chouest Marketing Manager Daniel W. LaFont says the company is looking at constructing a modified version of its C-Port 1 and 2 facilities, designed specifically for the timely delivery of supplies and equipment to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Unlike its two counterparts, the latest version would comprise a straight-line uncovered dock with 1,800 ft (549 m) of bulkhead with cranes, he says.
In December 2008, Edison Chouest Senior Vice President Roger White told the Greater Lafourche Port Commission that construction of the so-called Chouest Shorebase Services facility would not begin until 2010 at the earliest. The company has been in negotiations to lease a 71-acre track within the port’s ongoing northern expansion project. If all goes well, Edison Chouest will be the first client to commit to the port’s 400-acre expansion around a third channel called Slip C.
With more than a mile of bulkhead, the proposed facility will be capable of accommodating heavier crane capacity and offer more space to store greater quantities of water, chemicals, and drilling fluids. The project is aimed primarily at servicing the 19 new deepwater rigs slated to enter the Gulf of Mexico over the next three years.
In a related development, Chouest is nearing completion of a covered three-slip drydock in Port Fourchon that is designed to handle large anchor-handling vessels. LaFont says the facility is expected to be in operation by early in the second quarter.
The new drydock is 420 ft x 400 ft (128 m x 122 m) and rises 150 ft (46 m) above the water level. Since it is under cover, repairs will not be impacted by weather, LaFont says, adding the facility can accommodate anchor handlers as large as the 348-ft (106-m) long Laney Chouest, the largest in the company’s fleet.
“This facility is designed specifically for anchor handling vessels. Before when they had an issue that needed addressing they had to go to Houma or Biloxi. These are expensive pieces of equipment so you need to get them repaired and turned around as quickly as possible. It’s very costly for a rig to be sitting there waiting for them,” LaFont says.
“We just felt it would be more cost effective to have a facility right here in Port Fourchon. The demand is so strong that the facility will pay for itself in a relatively short time.”
Meanwhile, Moncus says land is available and all he needs are client commitments to make his Deepwater Storage & Service facility a reality. The founder and former owner of Devin International supply and manufacturing company, describes his concept as the only industrial storage and service facility that allows companies to refurbish and securely store deepwater tools and other equipment.
Moncus says the facility is geared toward downhole specialty equipment, such as drill collars, that previously had to be taken to central storage facilities in Houma or Lafayette. In addition to the warehouse storage facility, the proposal also would have provisions for maintenance and wash areas. “These are high-end components that they do not want to leave outside and unsecured,” he says.
Moncus notes while many companies build facilities to store their own equipment, a need definitely exists for a universal location to be shared. “It makes sense to have a central facility here. There’s a great deal of business in the deepwater so the opportunity is definitely there. It’s just a matter of lining up the first couple of clients and then we’re up and running.”
Greene’s Energy Group LLC acquired Moncus’ former company in 2008.
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