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Shell Inks World's Deepest FPSO for Stones Development

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Shell Offshore Inc. awarded a supply and lease contract with SBM Offshore for a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel for the Stones development project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The 10-year contract includes future extension options up to a total of 20 years, stated the press release. The contract is valued at about $1 billion.

The converted Suezmax FPSO, to be the deepest development in the world, will store 800,000 barrels of crude oil with a processing capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day and 15 million cubic feet per day of gas treatment and export capabilities.

"We are delighted to have been selected to supply the deepest floating installation in the world, setting a new technological benchmark and confirming our position as a leader in the FPSO market and large turret mooring systems for deepwater," stated SBM Offshore CEO Bruno Chabas, in a press release.

SBM performed the Front End Engineering & Design (FEED) study for the development, which Shell made a final investment decision in May 2013. At 9,500 feet deep, Stones is situated on Walker Ridge Block 508.

The field's development will initially consist of two development wells tied-back to the FPSO with six additional wells to follow at a later date. Peak production for the first phase is expected to reach 50,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day.

The Stones reservoir is estimated to hold more than 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

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