SPAR is a type of floating oil platform which is generally used to carry out offshore drilling activities in ultra deep water regions. It is a vertical floating platform which is moored by a semi-taut mooring system. A SPAR platform comprises of a large diameter and a single vertical cylinder that supports the deck. The cylinder is filled with a material which is denser than water and lowers the centre of gravity of the platform and provides stability. The cylinder is normally located at the bottom of a chamber. They are anchored to the sea bed by way of the spread mooring system through a chain wire or by a chain polyester composition.
SPARs are segmented on the basis of their types such as cell spar, classic spar and the truss spar. Cell spar comprises of a large central cylinder which is surrounded by small cylinders of various lengths. At the bottom of the long cylinders is the soft tank that contains the heavy ballasting material which is almost same as that of a truss spar.
Presently, only one cell spar is in operation worldwide. Truss spar contains a short cylindrical hard tank in comparison with a classic spar and has a truss structure connected at the bottom of hard tank. At the bottom of the truss structure lays a relatively small square shaped soft tank that contains the heavy ballasting material. Majorly, truss spars are generally used to carry out offshore drilling activities of this type. The classic spar comprises of the cylindrical hull with the heavy ballast at the bottom of the cylinder.
The torso of the SPAR platform is further segmented into four divisions. Besides, from the uppermost portion that is visible over the surface of the water, there are other three components that demarcate the entire construction of the spar platforms; first component provides the required buoyant thrust to keep the platform raised above the water’s surface. The second segment of the platform provides the storing facilities required to store the extracted crude oil. A third section of the platform provides the required ballasting to carry out drilling activities. Thus, it helps in the construction to be solidly moored while providing better stability especially from tides and harsh water.
Neptune spar was the first spar designed for carrying out oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. It was installed in September 1996 by Kerr McGee. The world's deepest production platform is Perdido, a truss spar installed in the Gulf of Mexico with a water depth of more than 2,300 meters. It is owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and was manufactured at a cost of USD 3 billion.
Emerging economies, growing population and rapid industrialization are some of the key drivers of the single point anchor reservoir (SPAR) market. However, high costs and long time required to manufacture the single point anchor reservoir can hamper the growth of the market. The ample amount of opportunities lies for single point anchor reservoir owing to a large number of upcoming drilling projects in offshore regions.
Some of the key players in the business of SPARs are Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries Co.Ltd, Teekay Corporation, SBM Offshore N.V, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Technip S.A and Bumi Armada Berhad among others.
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