Royal Dutch Shell is buying the FPSO vessel Turritella from a joint venture (JV) led by SBM Offshore for $1bn cash.
In buying the vessel the Dutch supermajor is effectively taking over complete operatorship of the Stones development in deep-water Gulf of Mexico.
Stones lies about 200 miles off Louisiana in the Walker Ridge area in about 9,500 feet water depth. Turritella is the deepest FPSO in the world.
The deal is being made through Shell subsidiary Shell E&P Offshore Services, which is exercising its right to buy from the JV which comprises Netherlands-based SBM Offshore (with a 55% stake) and Japanese pair Mitsubishi Corp (30%) and NYK Line (15%).