Shell Resumes Production at Mars

Shell Exploration & Production Company has resumed production from its Mars tension leg platform on June 28 following completion of repairs to the flexjoints on both its oil and natural gas export lines. The facility is currently pumping down the process vessels, and production is expected to reach its pre shut-in rate of 150,000 barrels of oil per day and 170 million cubic feet of gas per day within two to three days.

The flexjoint on the natural gas line was replaced and a temporary repair was made to the oil line to allow production to safely resume until the flexjoints could be refurbished. It is anticipated that there will be a seven-day shut-in later in the summer when the refurbished flexjoints will be installed.

"We are very pleased that Mars production has been restored," said Frank Glaviano, Gulf of Mexico East Asset Manager. " This was a very complicated and intense recovery operation, but, through the cooperation and hard work by Shell staff, our partner, BP, and our key contractors, we were able to make the repairs safely, cleanly and without undue delay."

Inspections of flexjoints at other Shell-operated TLPs have found the condition of those joints to be adequate for continued safe and efficient operation. Analysis of the flexjoint failure at Mars continues at the Oil States facilities in Arlington, Texas.