Shell started production from the Mars B development through Olympus – the company’s seventh, and largest, floating deepwater platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Feb. 4. It is the first deepwater project in the Gulf to expand an existing oil and gas field with significant new infrastructure, which should extend the life of the greater Mars basin to 2050 or beyond.
Combined future production from Olympus and the original Mars platform is expected to deliver an estimated resource base of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
“With two large platforms now producing from the deepwater Mars field, this project demonstrates our deepwater project delivery and leadership,” said John Hollowell, executive vice president for Deep Water, Shell Upstream Americas.
“We safely completed construction and installation of the Olympus platform more than six months ahead of schedule, allowing us to begin production early from the development’s first well. Olympus is the latest successful start-up of our strong portfolio of deepwater projects which we expect to generate substantial value in the coming years. Deepwater will continue to be a core growth opportunity for Shell,” he said.
In addition to the Olympus drilling and production platform, the Shell Mars B development (Shell 71.5% operator, BP 28.5%) includes subsea wells at the West Boreas and South Deimos fields, export pipelines, and a shallow water platform, located at West Delta 143, near the Louisiana coast. Olympus sits in 3,100 feet of water. Using the Olympus platform drilling rig and a floating drill rig, additional development drilling will enable ramp up to an estimated peak of 100,000 boe/d in 2016. The Mars field produced an average of over 60,000 boe/d in 2013.
Also in the Gulf of Mexico, progress on the 50,000 boe/d Cardamom project (Shell 100%) continues toward a 2014 production date, and work is underway on the 50,000 boe/d deepwater Stones development (Shell 100%).