Appomattox in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico; Source: Shell

Shell brings online deepwater oil project in Gulf of Mexico

Shell Offshore Inc, a subsidiary of the UK-headquartered energy giant Shell, has kicked off production from a deepwater oil project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM). This is a subsea tie-back to the oil major’s operated Appomattox production hub.

Appomattox in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico; Source: Shell

The start of production at Rydberg comes years after the Noble Globetrotter I drillship made an oil discovery at the Rydberg exploration well in July 2015. With an estimated peak production of 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), the Rydberg subsea tie-back to the Shell-operated Appomattox asset encompasses two production wells produced through a single insulated 12-mile flowline with a dynamic umbilical.

Rich Howe, Shell Deep Water Executive Vice President, commented: “Rydberg will further boost production in the Norphlet Corridor at Appomattox, which is consistently one of our highest producing assets. As we meet the energy demands of today and the future, we will continue to mature the best opportunities for growth in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Rydberg is located within Mississippi Canyon in the Norphlet Corridor of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, approximately 75 miles off the coast of Louisiana in about 7,450 feet of water. The leases in which this asset is situated are operated by Shell, which has a working interest of 80% while CNOOC has a working interest of 20%.

According to the oil major, Rydberg’s current estimated recoverable resource volumes are 38 million boe, which are classified as 2P under the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Resource Classification System. Shell highlights that it became the first operator to bring an asset online in the Norphlet Corridor in 2019 with Appomattox. The company operates this asset with a 79% working interest and CNOOC holds the remaining 21%.

Shell claims that its production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico has among the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity in the world for producing oil compared to other IOGP oil and gas-producing members. In March 2023, the firm made a final investment decision for the Dover deepwater project within Mississippi Canyon, approximately 170 miles offshore southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

This project will also be developed as a subsea tie-back to Appomattox and production is anticipated to begin in late 2024 or early 2025. A month before the FID for Dover, the oil major began production at the Vito platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.