Shell gives OK for its biggest Gulf of Mexico floating platform

Shell gives OK for its biggest Gulf of Mexico floating platform

San Francisco: Shell gave the go-ahead on Wednesday for what would be its largest Gulf of Mexico floating platform.

It would be put to work in a deepwater oil and gas field called the Appomattox. Named after a US Civil War battle, the Appomattox lies 80 miles offshore Louisiana.

The development would comprise a semi-submersible, four-column production host platform, a subsea system with six drill centres, 15 producing wells, and five water injection wells.

It includes capital for the development of 650 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) at Appomattox and the Vicksburg field (also named after a Civil War battle).

Shell expects the Appomattox to reach an average peak production of approximately 175,000 boe per day. Once online, with an estimated start-up at the end of this decade, the field could boost Shell’s production in the region by more than 60 percent from 2014 levels.

The company gave no figures but experts estimate this will cost around $2bn. The commitment to such a big capital investment bucks the trend towards cutbacks in the energy industry.

Shell has a 79 percent stake in the project while Nexen Petroleum, a subsidiary of China’s CNOOC, holds 21 percent

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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