Argos – from paper to production

Ryan O'Connor

bp’s new addition to its oil and gas portfolio in the Gulf of Mexico started out as a scribbled idea on a scrap of paper. One man’s decade-long dedication has helped to turn those sketches into a vital new supply of energy from one of the world’s most sophisticated production platforms. Ryan O’Connor, the floating production unit project manager, who joined bp 22 years ago, takes up the story.

“We literally started with pieces of paper that represented the major building blocks. That became a PowerPoint, then it evolved into a very detailed model, then, before you knew it, the thing was built.”

It was a proud moment for the engineer when Argos sailed up the Corpus Christi ship channel in April 2021 after its long journey from the shipyard in South Korea where it was built over the course of three years from 2018-2021 by bp and contractor Samsung Heavy Industries in Geoje. Ryan was joined by his family to celebrate its arrival: “They got to see with their own eyes the enormity and scale of this project
and what our team had been working on for all of these years. It was an awesome day.”

The platform arrives in Texas following its journey from South Korea.

Ryan says taking on projects and solving problems is what makes him tick. Delivery during the pandemic was just one of the challenges the project team faced, including managing shortages of raw materials and components, such as steel and semiconductors, and pulling together a 600-strong team that spanned the globe, from Houston to Geoje and Aberdeen.

He says a ‘one team’ approach helped to deliver this massive feat of engineering safely, with colleagues speaking regularly on video calls to stay in close touch.

“For me, it was an opportunity to take what I learned from the first half of my career in engineering and operations and apply that knowledge to the delivery of this new asset,” said Ryan. “I’m just as excited about this project today as the first day I came on board more than 10 years ago.

“MD2 is going to help meet the energy demands today, right here in the United States, and will help to fund bp’s transition to a lower carbon energy future. Some of the most talented people in the world worked together to deliver this – a project of enormous scale and complexity. I’m extremely proud to be a part of it.”

TOP PHOTO: Ryan O’Connor (left) on Argos

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