Shell begins production at Perdido

Guntis Moritis
OGJ Production Editor

HOUSTON, Mar. 31 -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC began production through the Perdido spar facility, which lies in about 8,000 ft of water on Alaminos Canyon Block 857 in the Gulf of Mexico about 200 miles south of Freeport, Tex., and 8 miles north of the international maritime border with Mexico.

Shell said the facility set a water depth record for a drilling and production facility.

The facility will handle production from Great White, Silvertip, and Tobago fields. Designed capacity of the facility is 100,000 bo/d and 200 MMscfd of gas.

Shell said that production from Great White is the first from the gulf's Lower Tertiary section. So far the company has drilled six development wells in Great White of which five are producing wells and one is an injection well. Shell notes that it may need as many as 35 wells to develop the three fields.

Perdido is the first spar with direct vertical access wells, Shell said. Besides these wells, the development will also require remote subsea completed wells.

Because of the low pressure and temperature of the fields, Shell has installed an innovative subsea separation and boosting system that can lower back pressure on the wells by about 2,000 psi.

Shell acquired its first leases in the area in 1996 and discovered Great White in 2002. It moored the spar on location in late 2008 and installed the topsides in early 2009.

Shell said Great White represents about 80% of Perdido's total estimated production.

Besides the Lower Tertiary sands, Shell said the area also has prospective shallow Frio sands, which it has tested with two horizontal wells. The sands lie about 3,000 ft below the mudline.

Shell operates the facility and has a 35% interest in the development. The other interest owners are Chevron USA Inc. 37.5% and BP Exploration & Production Inc. 27.5%.

Contact Guntis Moritis at guntism@ogjonline.com.

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