Brutus TLP Down for Repairs

Shell Exploration & Production Company (SEPCo) confirmed that it shut in its Brutus tension leg platform (TLP) on Feb. 12, 2002. The TLP, located in Green Canyon Block 158 in the Gulf of Mexico, was shut in due to valve failures in the production processing system. All systems have been de-pressurized and there is no safety or environmental risk to the platform or personnel. It is expected that production will remain shut in while an investigation is conducted and repairs are made. Additionally, SEPCo will utilize this down time to initiate work to expand production capacity to 130,000 barrels of oil per day.

"We have launched a comprehensive investigation to proficiently address this situation and determine the root cause," said Raoul Restucci, SEPCo president and CEO. "We anticipate the repairs and expansion activities may take at least a month, but the emphasis is on taking the appropriate steps to ensure no reoccurrence."

While a definitive root cause is under investigation, there are some initial indications suggesting that stimulation fluids from a well may have entered the gas processing system causing equipment damage. Other potential causes are being investigated; consequently, no definite conclusions have been reached at this time.

At the time of shut-in, Brutus was producing 60,000 barrels of oil per day and 90 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from four wells, with a fifth well shut in. Ongoing drilling operations on the sixth well are unaffected.