Shell has made a Final Investment Decision for its Mars B deep water development, located approximately 130-miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. The development will include a second tension-leg platform, named "Olympus," to enhance recovery from the prolific Mars field. The new platform will also provide process infrastructure for two of Shell's recent deep water discoveries, West Boreas and South Deimos, and can potentially serve the nearby, rich exploration portfolio in the Gulf of Mexico.
The tension-leg platform is a proven concept, which Shell first successfully executed in the early 90s for its Auger hub. Shell then followed with deep water, tension-leg platforms for its Mars ("A"), Ram-Powell, Ursa, and Brutus developments. First production from the Mars B Olympus platform is expected in 2015; the facility will be designed to process approximately 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Shell discovered the deep water Mars field in 1989. Production from this prolific field was first brought online in 1996 and has contributed to the Gulf of Mexico's position as a critical component of the US energy supply. The investment decision to design, construct, and install the Olympus platform extends the production life of the Mars field, for decades to come, and increases the oil and gas recovery from this strategic offshore asset.
"This significant investment decision demonstrates Shell's continued commitment to responsibly maximize deep water oil and gas recovery and make a positive impact on this country's domestic energy supply," said Marvin Odum, Upstream Americas Director and President, Shell Oil Company. "Responsible offshore operations remain our priority. It's imperative that this industry protects the millions of people it employs, its operating environment, and the critical energy resource. Shell's Olympus platform will build on our more than 15-years of safe offshore development and deep water expertise."
Shell will operate the Mars B Olympus tension-leg platform and currently holds a 71.5-percent working interest in the development. BP holds the remaining 28.5-percent working interest. In the Gulf of Mexico, the Mars B development will draw production from eight Mississippi Canyon blocks – 762, 763, 764, 805, 806, 807, 850 and 851.
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