A close-fought contest to build a major new semi-submersible production platform for TotalEnergies’ challenging deep-water North Platte oil project in the US Gulf of Mexico could come to a head next month.

North Platte is pushing the envelope for deep water projects because it aims to tap oil and gas resources trapped in reservoirs where pressures can hit 20,000 pounds per square inch, far above normal levels.

As such, the project is defined as an ultra-high-pressure asset that needs specialist well, drilling and subsea equipment to keep the reservoir under control.