Shell hands out work for its new Gulf of Mexico FPU to Seatrium

Shell Offshore Inc., a subsidiary of the UK-headquartered energy giant Shell, has picked Singapore’s Seatrium, previously known as Sembcorp Marine, for the construction and integration of the hull, topsides, and living quarters of a new semi-submersible floating production unit (FPU) destined for the oil major’s recently sanctioned deepwater development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. 

Sparta FPU; Source: Shell Offshore

The contract award for the Sparta FPU, featuring a single topside module supported by a four-column semi-submersible floating hull, entails the installation of Shell-furnished equipment and follows the letter of intent from August 28, 2023. The FPU will replicate about 95% of the Whale’s hull and 85% of its topsides.

Furthermore, the two-level topside for Sparta will be integrated and lifted to the hull using Seatrium’s Goliath twin cranes capable of lifting up to 30,000 tones. This FPU is designed to produce 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). Upon completion, it will be situated in the Garden Banks area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, approximately 275 kilometers (171 miles) off the coast of Louisiana.

William Gu, Executive Vice President and Head of Oil & Gas International at Seatrium, commented: “We are deeply honored that Shell has awarded Sparta, the third FPU newbuild, to Seatrium, following the successful deliveries of the Vito and Whale FPUs. It is a strong affirmation of our team’s capabilities and the long-standing partnership between both parties.

“We are fully committed to executing the project well, including the single lift operation and fabrication of the FPU to meet its 20,000-psi design for use in harsh weather conditions, and delivering the unit to Shell safely and efficiently.”

The Sparta project, previously known as North Platte, is a deepwater development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, measuring 4,300 square feet (1,310 meters). The field was discovered in 2012 by Cobalt International Energy. Currently, the Sparta field is operated by Shell Offshore (51%) with Equinor Gulf of Mexico LLC (49%) as the oil major’s partner.

The final investment decision was taken in December 2023. The development plan encompasses eight production wells tied back to a semi-submersible FPU. With an estimated, discovered recoverable resource volume of 244 million boe and a designed capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day at peak, Sparta is anticipated to start production in 2028.

Related Article

While this will be Shell’s 15th deepwater host in the Gulf of Mexico, it is also said to be the firm’s first development to produce from reservoirs with pressures up to 20,000 pounds per square inch. The platform will feature all-electric compression equipment, allowing for significantly reduced emissions intensity from production.

Shell is actively working on bolstering its Gulf of Mexico production. To this end, the oil major acquired the remaining stake in a deepwater field developed as a subsea tie-back to the nearby Ursa production hub.

In pursuit of more hydrocarbons, the company also greenlighted a phased offshore drilling program to bolster production at a development project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.


𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐛 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞? 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐧𝐨 𝐟𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐄𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲! 𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐢𝐥 & 𝐠𝐚𝐬, 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞, 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐝, 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐞, 𝐡𝐲𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐧, 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐞𝐚, 𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲, 𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐞𝐥𝐬, 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐚 𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐬.

Follow Offshore Energy’s Fossil Energy market on social media channels: