Shell moves forward with Whale development in Gulf of Mexico

Shell Offshore, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, has reached a positive final investment decision for Whale, a deep-water development in the US Gulf of Mexico owned by Shell Offshore (60% operator) and Chevron (40%).

Discovered in 2017, Whale is in the Alaminos Canyon Block 773, adjacent to the Shell-operated Silvertip field and approximately 200 miles southwest of Houston.

The Whale production facility will feature a semi-submersible production host in more than 8,600 feet of water with 15 oil producing wells. Its design will closely replicate that of Vito, a four-column semi-submersible host facility located in the greater Mars Corridor. Whale’s 99% replicated hull and 80% replicated topsides from the Vito project enable the company to leverage the engineering, construction and supply chain of an earlier project, creating cost efficiencies and a short cycle time. Whale is consequently expected to achieve first oil 7.5 years after discovery.

With this development approach, Shell anticipates an internal rate of return estimated to be greater than 25%.

The Whale development is expected to reach peak production of approximately 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) and currently has an estimated recoverable resource volume of 490m boe. Whale will be Shell’s 12th deep-water host in the Gulf of Mexico and is scheduled to begin production in 2024.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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