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Shell starts production at Appomattox in deep-water Gulf of Mexico

Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its subsidiary Shell Offshore Inc (Shell) has started production at the Shell-operated Appomattox floating production system months ahead of schedule, opening a new frontier in the deep-water US Gulf of Mexico.


Shell’s Appomattox Platform in the Gulf of Mexico

Appomattox, which currently has an expected production of 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), is the first commercial discovery now brought into production in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico Norphlet formation.

Appomattox creates a core long-term hub for Shell in the Norphlet through which we can tie back several already discovered fields as well as future discoveries.

—Andy Brown, Upstream Director, Royal Dutch Shell

By way of optimized development planning, better designs and fabrication, and expert drilling execution, Appomattox has realized cost reductions of more than 40% since taking final investment decision in 2015. The start of production at Appomattox is only just the beginning of further maximizing the flow of resources in the prolific Norphlet surrounding Appomattox, Shell said.

Shell’s global deep-water business has a strong funnel of development and exploration opportunities in Brazil, the US, Mexico, Nigeria, Malaysia, Mauritania, and the Western Black Sea. Production worldwide is on track to reach more than 900,000 boe/d by 2020 from already discovered, established reservoirs.

The company continues to be one of the largest leaseholders in the US deep water and remains one of the most prolific offshore producers of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell designs and operates its deep-water projects to be competitive and, since 2014, has reduced its unit development costs and unit operating costs by about 45%.

Appomattox is a joint venture between Shell (79%, operator) and CNOOC Petroleum Offshore U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of CNOOC Limited (21%).

The Appomattox hull, weighing 40,000 metric tons, is the largest floating production system that Shell has ever built. Constructed in Geoje, South Korea, it made its way to Ingleside, Texas, USA, in 2017 where the host platform and subsea infrastructure were added. In May 2018 the Appomattox platform left Ingleside to travel to its final location in the Gulf of Mexico.

Appomattox floating production system is located approximately 80 miles (129 kilometres) south east of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico Norphlet formation, in approximately 7,400 feet (2,255 metres) of water.

The Mattox Pipeline Co. LLC (Mattox) is a 90-mile (145 km), 24-inch (61 centimeters) system with a 300,000 barrels per day capacity that will move the produced crude oil from Appomattox westward to the Proteus pipeline system and then onshore. Mattox is jointly owned by Shell GOM Pipeline Company LLC and CNOOC Petroleum Sales U.S.A. Inc., an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited.

Mattox was also completed months ahead of schedule and under budget.


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