Shell makes FID on Appomattox deepwater development in Gulf of Mexico

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Appomattox deepwater development, authorizing construction and installation of the company’s eighth and largest floating platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Appomattox development, 80 miles offshore Louisiana in 7,200 ft of water, will initially produce from Appomattox and Vicksburg fields, with average peak production estimated to reach 175,000 boe/d. It will consist of a semisubmersible, four-column production host platform, a subsea system with six drill centers, 15 producing wells, and five water injection wells.

The sanctioned project includes capital for development of 650 million boe in resources at Appomattox and Vicksburg, with startup estimated around the end of the decade. Development of Shell’s recent, nearby discoveries at the Gettysburg and Rydberg prospects remains under review (OGJ Online, July 15, 2014).

Shell says those discoveries could become additional tiebacks to Appomattox, bringing the total estimated discovered resources in the area to more than 800 million boe.

Shell Pipeline Co. LP also made an FID on the Mattox pipeline, a 24-in. OD corridor pipeline that will transport crude oil from the Appomattox host to an existing offshore structure in the South Pass area and then connect onshore through an existing pipeline. The line will have preinstalled subsea connection points allowing for future interconnections.

The platform and Appomattox and Vicksburg fields will be owned by Shell with 79% interest; wholly owned CNOOC Ltd. subsidiary Nexen Petroleum Offshore USA Inc. holds the remaining interest. Shell discovered Appomattox in 2010 (OGJ Online, Mar. 19, 2010); and Vicksburg in 2013 (OGJ Online, July 5, 2013).

Shell says it’s the only operator in the Gulf of Mexico with commercial deepwater discoveries in the Norphlet formation, which dates back 150-200 million years ago to the Jurassic period. The company continues active exploration in the area.

Last year in the gulf, Shell started production from the Mars B development (OGJ Online, Feb. 4, 2014), through the new Olympus tension-leg platform; and from the Cardamom subsea tieback to the Auger platform (OGJ Online, Sept. 8, 2014). The company is also developing the Stones project, expected to produce 50,000 boe/d (OGJ Online, Aug. 23, 2013).

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