Shell to shut in Auger TLP, complete tie-in at Cardamom field

Shell Offshore Inc. reported it will temporarily halt operations at its Auger tension-leg platform (TLP) in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to complete tie-in work to the Cardamom oil and gas field subsea development. The TLP is expected to restart in the fourth quarter.

Shell took a multibillion dollar investment decision to develop Cardamom field near its Auger TLP in mid-2011 (OGJ Online, June 9, 2011).

Cardamom, which lies in more than 2,720 ft of water on Garden Banks Block 427 about 225 miles southwest of New Orleans, is expected to produced 50,000 boe/d at peak output and recover an eventual 140 million boe from a reservoir deeper than 25,000 ft true vertical depth. Shell holds 100% interest in Cardamom.

The completed subsea system will include five well expandable manifolds, a dual 8-in. flowline, and eight well umbilicals.

Retrofit modifications to the Auger TLP will include additional subsea receiving equipment, upgrade of an existing process train, and weight mitigation. These upgrades are expected to increase the liquid handling, cooling, and production capacities of the host facility, Shell said.

Shell said the Cardamom discovery resulted through the use of “advanced seismic imaging and extended-reach drilling” and that since the discovery, “further advancements in seismic have allowed Shell to see beyond a subsurface salt layer to estimate Cardamom’s full resource potential.”

Shell said the Cardamom well set records 3 years ago, for subsurface length and depth. Shell drilled the Cardamom well from the Auger TLP; the well has a measured depth of 31,634 ft and a horizontal reach of more than 15,000 ft.

John Hollowell, executive vice-president for deep water, Shell Upstream Americas, said, “Cardamom is a great example of using existing infrastructure to increase oil and gas production in a less capital intensive way.”

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