Shell Offshore advances Stones deepwater gulf development

Shell Offshore Inc. has let a contract to Technip for the engineering, procurement, and installation of subsea infrastructure for its Stones field in the Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico. The Stones development will host the deepest floating production, storage, and offloading unit in the world, says Shell, and will be the major’s first FPSO in the gulf. Stones field lies in 9,500 ft of water.

Technip will install the subsea production system and Stones lateral gas pipeline, inclusive of associated project management, engineering, and stalk fabrication.

Technip's operating center in Houston will perform the overall project management. The flowlines and risers will be welded at Technip’s spoolbase in Mobile, Ala. The offshore installation is expected to be performed in second-half 2014 by Technip’s Deep Blue deepwater pipelay vessel.

In July, Shell let a contract to SBM Offshore for the supply and lease of a FPSO, which has a processing capacity of 60,000 b/d of oil and 15 MMcfd of gas and 800,000 bbl of storage capacity (OGJ Online, July 23, 2013). Shell and SBM Offshore signed an agreement for the supply of medium and small FPSOs on a lease-and-operate basis in March 2012. In May, Shell let a subsea equipment contract to FMC Technologies Inc. (OGJ Online, May 23, 2013).

Stones field was discovered in 2005 and includes eight Outer Continental Shelf lease blocks in the gulf’s Lower Tertiary trend. The field is estimated to hold more than 2 billion boe in place.

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