9,356 feet deep, to be exact.

That's the fresh record set by FMC Technologies (NYSE:FTI) for a subsea deepwater completion. The installation at Royal Dutch Shell's (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B) Perdido project -- in which Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and BP (NYSE:BP) are partners -- tops FMC's prior record at Anadarko Petroleum's (NYSE:APC) massive Independence Hub.

Why should energy-focused Fools care about this announcement? Well, like me, you probably find yourself sifting through the rubble, trying to figure out who comes out all right on the other side of this oil patch pickle. And it's accomplishments like these that set FMC apart from other service players.

If the number 9,356 doesn't move you, how about these numbers:

  • Five-year frame agreement with StatoilHydro (NYSE:STO) worth $2.6 billion to $4.4 billion
  • 10-year frame agreement with BP and a five-year alliance with Anadarko, both in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Five-year frame agreement extension with Woodside Energy in Australia

FMC's long-term engagements with the world's leading deepwater players also run deep. The new record set at Perdido is just a signifier of the firm's capabilities, and the reason it's the preferred provider when it comes to subsea systems.

Now, your confidence may be shaken in light of the recent deepwater ding stemming from Callon Petroleum's cancellation of its Entrada project. But Entrada is only about one-tenth the size of Perdido, in terms of estimated reserves. Shell has specifically stated that it "takes a long-term view on oil prices in its investment decisions. Short-term price volatility will not impact the Perdido project."

Similarly, Callon is a relative small fry, and its financial foundations are far less secure than any of the players mentioned above. Keep your eye on the big projects, and as long as they remain on the table, FMC will tough out these temporary tough times.

FMC is rated a formidable five stars in Motley Fool CAPS. Weigh in on the subsea specialist's fortunes with your own outperform or underperform call right here.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.