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Portraits of the 500: Chevron goes big in deepwater

June 9, 2014, 2:37 PM UTC
Chevron's Tahiti oil and gas platform.
Alix Colow Contract. Chevron's Tahiti oil and gas platform, located 190 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, sits in 4,000 feet of water. Credit: George Steinmetz for Fortune
Photograph by George Steinmetz

From the top of the flare boom to the bottom of the hull, it’s 500 feet tall. It contains 156,000 feet of pipe and 1.7 million feet of cable. When installed in 5,200 feet of water 225 miles south of New Orleans, it will house a crew of 160, generate enough energy to power a small city, and produce up to 75,000 barrels of oil and 25 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Chevron (No. 3 on the Fortune 500) calls it Big Foot. This gargantuan $5.1 billion oil platform, top left, symbolizes the enormous investment the energy giant (revenues: $220 billion) is making in deepwater production in the Gulf of Mexico. Photographed in Ingleside, Texas, where it’s being assembled and tested, Big Foot will soon join other Chevron (CVX) platforms already installed in the Gulf (two of which are also pictured) and is scheduled to begin production in 2015.

For more on Chevron, read our piece about life on one of these deepwater rigs: Chevron goes to extremes in the Gulf of Mexico