Shell Offshore Inc. let a contract to SBM Offshore for the supply and lease of a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel for its Stones field development project in the Gulf of Mexico.
Stones field, 200 miles southwest of New Orleans in the gulf’s Walker Ridge area in 9,500 ft of water, is estimated to contain more than 2 billion boe in place (OGJ Online, May 23, 2013).
Once installed, the FPSO would be the deepest development of its kind in the world, according to Shell. The converted Suezmax FPSO will have a turret with a removable buoy that will allow it to be disconnected in the event of an approaching hurricane. The FPSO’s mooring system also will have the ability to adjust line tension during operations.
The FPSO has a processing capacity of 60,000 b/d of oil and 15 MMcfd of gas and 800,000 bbl of storage capacity.
In March 2012, Shell and SBM Offshore signed an agreement for the supply of medium and small FPSOs on a lease-and-operate basis.
Shell operates Stones field and is its sole interest holder.