Shell launches development of major new Gulf of Mexico discovery

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 09 Jun 2011 05:37
Tags: gulf-of-mexico shell upstream usa


Shell today announced a significant, multi-billion dollar investment to develop its major Cardamom oil and gas field in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). The Cardamom project is expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a day at peak production and more than 140 million boe over its lifetime.

“Technological advances in seismic imaging and drilling have allowed us to both discover and access this new field,” said Marvin Odum, Shell Upstream Americas Director. “This is another sizeable deep-water investment by Shell that strengthens energy supplies to the USA. It will also secure employment for more offshore workers.”

Shell’s rigorous global safety standards underpin our approach to deep-water exploration and production. Our exploration plan for Cardamom (Shell interest 100%) was the first to receive approval since the lifting of the US government moratorium on drilling in the GoM. As a result of today’s final investment decision, Shell will move ahead with further development drilling and installing undersea equipment.

Shell discovered the Cardamom reservoir in 2010 using advanced seismic technology that was able to produce improved images versus traditional seismic methods. The discovery was confirmed by drilling a well from Shell’s Auger platform that broke records for length and depth. The exploration wells were drilled more than 6.4 kilometres (four miles) below the seabed.

Production from Cardamom will flow through the Auger platform, minimising the offshore footprint by using existing infrastructure.

The development of the Cardamom field is the latest step in Shell’s deep-water energy production activities in the GoM. Perdido, the world’s deepest offshore production facility, came on-stream in 2010. Later that year Shell announced the decision to go ahead with a second platform in our Mars B field in the GoM.

Today’s final investment decision for Cardamom is in line with Shell’s continued drive to increase global oil and gas production. The rapid progress from discovery of the reservoir to the launch of development plans represents Shell’s ability to move forward with projects of major value.

Notes to editors

  • Cardamom is 100% Shell owned and operated.
  • The Cardamom discovery is located in Garden Banks Block 427, approximately 362 kilometres (225 miles) south-west of New Orleans, Louisiana, in water more than 800 metres (2,720 feet) deep.
  • The completed subsea system will include five well expandable manifolds, a dual 20-centimetre (8-inch) flowline, and eight well umbilicals.
  • Modifications to the Auger platform will include additional subsea receiving equipment, a new production train and weight mitigation, which is expected to significantly increase the Cardamom liquid handling, cooling and production capacities.
  • The Cardamom discovery was a result of advances in seismic imaging and extended reach drilling. The potential of Cardamom was first recognised early in the Auger development, but could not be fully assessed due to a layer of salt nearby which affected the quality of traditional seismic images. Advances in seismic imaging helped achieve significant improvements.
  • The Cardamom discovery well was drilled from Auger and features a measured depth of 9,642 metres (31,634 feet), a reach of more than 4,570 metres (15,000 feet), and a vertical depth greater than 7,620 metres (25,000 feet).
  • The first Cardamom exploration well has been producing directly from the Auger platform since December, 2010.
  • Since initial development in 1994, the Auger field has produced more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalent.

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