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On Wednesday Royal Dutch Shell announced that it will move ahead with the development of the Stones ultra-deepwater field in the Gulf of Mexico.
The project will include the construction of a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, as well as subsea infrastructure. First phase development will produce an estimated 50,000 barrels of oil a day from two subsea production wells (the deepest wells in the world); six more wells will be drilled further into the future.
The Stones field, discovered in 2005, is located roughly 200 miles southwest of New Orelans, in just under three kilometres of water. Stretching over eight US Federal Outer Continental Shelf lease blocks the field is estimated to contain over two billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Related article: Don’t Count your Chickens or your Oil Wells Before they Hatch
John Hollowell, the Exectuive Vice President for Deepwater, Shell Upstream Americas, said that, “this important investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to usher in the next generation of deepwater developments, which will deliver more production growth in the Americas. We will continue our leadership in safe, innovative deepwater operations to help meet the growing demand for energy in the US.”
The opening of the Stones project offers an important step in Shell’s continued growth in deepwater exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell also noted another recent achievement with the arrival of the Olympus tension leg platform at the Mars-B site, and is currently working on concepts for developing the Appomattox and Vito discoveries in the Gulf.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com