Production from Olympus Platform in U.S. Gulf Begins

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Shell begins production from its second Mars platform in the deepwater U.S. Gulf.

Royal Dutch Shell plc has initiated production from the Mars B development through Olympus, the company’s seventh and largest floating deepwater platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Mars B is the first deepwater Gulf project to expand an existing oil and gas field with significant new infrastructure, which Shell said should extend the greater Mars basin’s life to 2050 and beyond. Future production from Olympus and the original Mars platform should deliver 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of resources.

Shell safely completed construction and installation of Olympus more than six months ahead of schedule, allowing Shell to begin production early on the development’s first well, said John Hollowell, executive vice president of deepwater, Shell Upstream Americas, in a Feb. 4 press statement. “With two large platforms now producing from the deepwater Mars field, this project demonstrates our deepwater project delivery and leadership,” Hollowell commented.

The Shell Mars B development includes the Olympus drilling and production platform – located in approximately 3,100 feet (945 meters) of water -- subsea wells at the West Boreas and South Deimos fields, export pipelines, and a shallow water platform at West Delta Block 143 close to the Louisiana coast. Shell is operator of the Mars B development with 71.5 percent interest. BP plc holds 28.5 percent interest.

The Mars, Deimos and Europa fields are located on Mississippi Canyon Blocks 762, 763, 806, 807, 850, 851 and 935. The fields are all tied-back to the Mars tension leg platform (TLP) on Mississippi Canyon Block 807, according to Rigzone’s field development database, SubseaIQ.

Shell expects its wholly-operated Cardamom project in the Garden Banks area of the U.S. Gulf to begin production this year. Cardamom will be tied-back via subsea to the Shell-operated Auger TLP in Garden Banks Block 426. Cardamom is expected to produce at a peak rate of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

Work also is underway on the 50,000 boepd, deepwater Stones development following the project’s final investment decision in May 2013. The field’s first phase of development will consist of two subsea wells producing to a floating production storage and offloading vessel; its production capacity will be boosted by six more development wells. Production from the field is expected to peak at 50,000 boepd in the first phase of development.

The Stones field is located at Walker Ridge Block 508 in 9,576 feet (2,919 meters) of water approximately 200 miles (322 km) offshore Louisiana. Shell is operator of the Stones development with 100 percent interest.

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


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