A company focused on tying to develop already-discovered natural resources never developed by the exploration com- pany which found them, does not get relief from the massive costs of offshore operations. The offshore oil and gas industry is exceedingly capital intensive.Because it cannot enjoy the same economies o f scale as a large offshore player, a smaller company frequently pays more for development operations, so judicious financing is critical to survival. In its early years ATP financed developments with individual project financing, forcing the fortunes of the company and all of its employees to be tied to the success of each project. As ATP grew in size and stature, successful enhancements were made to its capital structure to enable the company to acquire its capital with greater operational flexibility. ATP attempts to acquire its projects at relatively low cost to enable itself to primarily utilize its precious funds in its development activities. Its business strategy requires operational expertise to control timing and contain costs to the greatest extent possible.
Oil and natural gas facilities and technologies have advanced to the level when even Category 5 hurricanes with devastating impact to stationary structures offshore and onshore did not cause any hydrocarbon spillage because of the effectiveness of shutoff valves and blowout preventers. ATP utilizes some of the most sophisticated technologies available, like the advanced subsea technologies, but also pushes the limits of existing technology to facilitate drawing oil and gas reserves from the ground as economically as possible and at minimal project risk The company pushed existing technology to a higher level by developing a well in 500 feet of water with subsea technology and laying an ll mile pipeline and an umbilical controlled by direct hydraulics (at the time the longest direct
hydraulic system worldwide). ATP was awarded “Best Field Improvement Project 1999” for this innovation by Hart’s Oil and Gas World magazine because this accomplishment meant that horizon-cluttering platforms were nowhere near the wellhead and yet consumers en- joyed the natural gas production from the well. In 2001 ATP’s 2-well subsea deepwater development, called “Ladybug”, in 1360′ of water depth in the Garden Banks area was recognized as the Gulf of Mexico record holder with the longest subsea oil tieback at 91,865′ or approximately 18 miles. In the UK, the ATP Helvellyn well utilizes subsea technology with the well remotely operated from a 12 mile platform distance, allowing use of existing North Sea infrastructure.
By employing strategic technologies to shorten development activities on a project, ATP is able to deliver more quickly its production to consumers and end users. Making marginal offshore projects economic by shortening their developmental processes, thus bringing their production to consumers at an earlier point in time, is one way ATP optimally delivers to production without wasting our precious natural resources.