Shell launches Perdido spar production facility

Shell is transporting by barge its enormous Perdido spar production facility from the shipyard in Pori, Finland, to Ingleside, Tex.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, May 30 -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC is transporting by barge its enormous Perdido spar production facility from the shipyard in Pori, Finland, to Ingleside, Tex., to prepare for installation in the ultradeep Gulf of Mexico on Alaminos Canyon Block 857.

Perdido, which has the capacity to produce 130,000 boe/d, will float on the surface in nearly 8,000 ft of water. "The spar will be secured in place by nine chain and polyester rope mooring lines, spanning an area of the seafloor roughly the size of downtown Houston," Shell said. Production will start by 2010.

On the Alaminos Canyon seafloor, 22 wells, each drilled to more than 14,000 ft below the water's surface, will be linked to the Perdido spar above. Oil will be brought to the surface against the extreme pressure of the deep water by 1,500-hp electric pumps, and gas will be separated on the sea floor to rise naturally to the production unit on the surface.

"The remotest producing platform in the entire Gulf of Mexico region, Perdido will float 220 miles from Galveston, Tex., and will provide living quarters for 150 industry personnel. The helicopter landing deck also will set new industry records, simultaneously accommodating two long-range Sikorsky S92 helicopters, each holding as many as 24 passengers and crew," the company said.

Shell, the 35% shareholder of the Perdido Regional Development Spar, is operator on behalf of partners BP PLC 27.5% and Chevron Corp. 37.5%.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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