Shell to become operator of renamed GoM development following farm-in

June 29, 2022
Shell will become operator of the North Platte deepwater development project in the US Gulf of Mexico following acquisition of 51% of Equinor’s interest in the project, Equinor said in a release June 29.

Shell will become operator of the North Platte deepwater development project in the US Gulf of Mexico following acquisition of 51% of Equinor’s interest in the project, Equinor said in a release June 29.

Equinor will retain 49% interest in the project, which will be renamed Sparta.

Sparta straddles four blocks (915, 916, 958, and 959) of the Garden Banks area, 275 km off the coast of Louisiana in about 1,300 m of water depth.

Sparta, then North Platte, was discovered in 2012 by Cobalt International Energy. The subsalt Paleogene reservoir is of high quality, both in porosity and permeability, with thickness in places exceeding 1,200 m, TotalEnergies said in 2019 following positive final investment decision.

Oil production at plateau level was expected by TotalEnergies at the time to average 75,000 b/d with output that would include associated gas. Its field development plan was based on eight subsea wells and two subsea drilling bases connected via two production loops to a newbuild, lightweight floating production unit (FPU).

Front-end engineering and design (FEED) has been matured for the project, Equinor said in the June 29 release, and the two companies will review the work that has been completed and update the development plan.

In February 2022, TotalEnergies withdrew from the project, releasing all its equity to Equinor (OGJ Online, Feb. 10, 2022).

The transaction between Shell and Equinor is subject to customary conditions and authority approval.