Shell takes FID to advance Gulf of Mexico Sparta development

Dec. 19, 2023
Shell Offshore will go ahead with development of Sparta, a deep-water project spanning four blocks in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Shell Offshore Inc., a subsidiary of Shell plc, has made a final investment decision (FID) for Sparta, a deep-water development that spans four Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks in the Garden Banks area of the US Gulf of Mexico.

Sparta is expected to reach a peak production of about 90,000 boe/d and currently has an estimated, discovered recoverable resource volume of 244 MMboe, the operator said in a release Dec. 19.

Sparta, Shell's 15th deep-water host in the Gulf of Mexico, will be the first of the operator’s gulf developments to produce from reservoirs with pressures up to 20,000 psi, and the first of Shell's replicable projects to feature all-electric topside compression equipment, reducing greenhouse gas intensity and emissions (OGJ Online, June 29, 2022; Aug. 28, 2023).

Production is scheduled to begin in 2028.

Standardized, simplified design

Sparta showcases Shell's cost-efficient development approach through standardized, simplified host designs, first utilized at the 100,000 b/d Vito development and later replicated at the 100,000 b/d Whale development, both of which are four-column semi-submersible host platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico.

An enhanced replication of Vito and Whale, Sparta replicates about 95% of Whale's hull and 85% of Whale's topsides, Shell said.

Sparta will feature a semi-submersible production host in a depth of more than 1,400 m (4,700 ft) of water, initially with eight oil and gas producing wells.

Vito lies in the greater Mars Corridor and began production in February 2023. Whale will be sited in the Perdido corridor and is scheduled to come online in 2024 (OGJ Online, July 26, 2021).

Shell Offshore Inc. is operator of Sparta with 51% interest. Equinor Gulf of Mexico LLC holds the remaining 49%.