Shell Begins Production from Princess Subsea Well

Shell Exploration & Production Company has commenced production from the Princess field subsea wells, located approximately 140 miles southeast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico. Production continues to ramp up and is currently flowing from one well at an approximate rate of 9,000 barrels of oil and 15 million cubic feet of gas per day. Subsea production began on December 17, 2003.

Princess is located in Mississippi Canyon 765 and 766, in a water depth of 3,650 feet, and is a phased development. The initial phase of development consists of a Shell Ursa tension leg platform well (A10) and an expandable three well subsea system tied back to Ursa less than four miles away. The Ursa A10 well began production in the 4th quarter of 2002. Peak production for Princess' initial stage of development is estimated to be 55,000 barrels of oil and 110 million cubic feet of gas per day; total gross ultimate recovery for the Princess project is estimated to be 175 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Princess is Shell's first Gulf of Mexico development to utilize 15,000-psi subsea equipment. In addition, Princess includes an intervention system located on the subsea trees' blowout preventer (BOP), which is a first for the industry and will significantly reduce maintenance costs for Princess.

"Princess is another Shell deepwater development that showcases our ability to deliver on critical technologies," said Gaurdie Banister, Regional Technical Director of Shell Exploration and Production in the Americas. "In addition to the new BOP intervention system, a new Gulf of Mexico drilling depth record of 33,200 feet measured depth was established at Princess' eastern appraisal well. Shell continues to capitalize on opportunities to utilize technologies to deliver domestic energy resources to the American public."

Working interest owners of Princess are Shell, as operator, (45 percent), BP (23 percent), ExxonMobil (16 percent), and ConocoPhillips (16 percent).