Shell has begun production from the Mars B development through Olympus—the company’s seventh, and largest, floating deepwater platform in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the first deepwater project in the Gulf to expand an existing oil and gas field with significant new infrastructure, which should extend the life of the greater Mars basin to 2050 or beyond. Combined future production from Olympus and the original Mars platform is expected to deliver an estimated resource base of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
The Mars B project adds the Olympus tension leg platform (TLP), with 24 well slots and a self-contained drilling rig; the West Boreas/ South Deimos subsea system; and an oil and gas export system, including a WD-143C shallow-water platform. The Mars B development is located about 210 kilometers (130 miles) south of New Orleans; 192 people will live and work on the Olympus platform.
Olympus sits in approximately 945 meters (3,100 feet) of water. The development’s reservoirs are located at a subsurface depth of 3,050 to 6,700 metres (10,000 to 22,000 feet), which is approximately 3 to 7 kilometers (2 to 4 miles), below the sea floor.
Using the Olympus platform drilling rig and a floating drill rig, additional development drilling will enable ramp up to an estimated peak of 100,000 boe per day in 2016. The Mars field produced an average of over 60,000 boe per day in 2013.
Also in the Gulf of Mexico, progress on the 50,000 boe/d Cardamom project (Shell 100%) continues toward a 2014 production date, and work is underway on the 50,000 boe/d, deep-water Stones development (Shell 100%) following the final investment decision last May.