World’s deepest FPSO en route to Gulf of Mexico (Gallery)

The U.S. Gulf of Mexico will soon welcome what will be the world’s deepest moored production facility, the Turritella FPSO.

Shell, the Anglo/Dutch oil giant, operates the Stones field, some 320 kilometers (200 miles) off the coast of Louisiana, and that’s exactly where the Turritella is headed. The FPSO will be used to develop the oil field in a water depth of 2,896 meters (9,500 feet) – this is more than six Empire State Buildings (443 meters tall) stacked on top of each other.

The Hague-based firm says that the first phase of the development includes eight subsea production wells tied back to the Turritella FPSO. Later on, a multiphase seafloor pumping is planned to pump oil and gas from the seabed to the vessel, increasing recoverable volumes and production rates. The final investment decision for the Stones development was made in 2013.

It took around sixteen million work hours to complete the Turritella. According to the company, the 274-long completed FPSO sailed away from Singapore last week, embarking on a 21,000-kilometer journey. The Turritella is also interesting for having a disconnectable turret with steel risers, which will enable it to move away from an incoming hurricane, in the case of need.

Shell has leased the production unit for 10 years from SBM Offshore, with extension options up to a total of 20 years. Once at the Gulf of Mexico location, and connected to the subsea wells, Turritella is expected to produce fifty thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day at peak production for first phase of development, from more than 250 million boe of recoverable resources.

Shell says that the Stones field, situated ~26,500 feet below sea level, has significant upside potential and is estimated to contain over 2 billion boe of oil in place.

First oil from the Stones field, located in the Walker Ridge area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, is expected to start flowing in the first half of 2016.

Offshore Energy Today Staff



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