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Olympus Hull Arrives in Gulf of Mexico

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Shell Offshore's Olympus hull completed its 18,272 mile journey on Saturday, Jan. 26, arriving safely in Ingleside, Texas. The hull departed South Korea on Nov. 28 on the Blue Marlin with 26 crew members on board.

The Olympus hull will comprise the second tension leg (TLP) platform at the Mars field and the sixth of its type for Shell in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell discovered the Mars field, located on Mississippi Canyon Blocks 762, 763, 850, and 851, in 1989. Production began in 1996. At the time of the discovery, Shell estimated the field to hold nearly 700 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) of resources. Between that time and the end of 2011, Mars produced 770 million (BOE), more than the original estimate. By the end of 2011, Shell reported it still saw around 1.1 billion boe in the field that remained to be produced.

After initially developing the field using the Mars A 24 well TLP, Shell decided to proceed with the commercial agreements and development plans for the Mars B project in September 2010.

"Given the field's sizeable resources, we assessed the need for additional infrastructure to boost the continued development of the field," Shell said in a statement on its website.

The Olympus TLP will have 24 well slots and a self-contained drilling rig, the West Boreas subsea system, and an oil and gas export system, including a WD-143C shallow water platform.

The lift and set of the Olympus TLP topsides modules will begin in February and last several weeks. Once installation of the topsides has been completed, the platform will prepare to sail to its final location on the Mars field in the Gulf, Shell said in a statement.

The project will extend the life of the Mars field to at least 2050, according to Shell. The company plans to start production around 2015. The facility will be capable of handling 100,000 boe/d once fully ramped up, a Shell spokesperson confirmed to Rigzone.

Mars is located in 3,000 feet (914 meters) of water.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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