Production is now underway from the Cardamom development, the second major deep-water facility Shell has brought online in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico this year, following the start-up of Mars B in February. Oil from the Cardamom subsea development (100-percent Shell) is piped through Shell’s Auger platform.
When at full production of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boepd), Auger’s total production capacity will increase to approximately130,000 boepd. “Cardamom is a high-value addition to Shell’s production at the Auger platform and is another example of our excellence in deep-water project delivery,” said Marvin Odum, Shell Upstream Americas director. “The work to extend the production life of our first deep-water, tension-leg platform is impressive and involved advanced exploration and development technology.
Our additional opportunities in deep water mean that this will remain an important, high-return growth area for Shell.” Since its first production in 1994, the facility has received several upgrades to process additional production from new discoveries. Cardamom is Auger’s seventh subsea development. The Cardamom reservoir sits beneath thick layers of salt in rock more than 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) below the sea floor and went undetected by conventional seismic surveys. Shell used the latest advancements in seismic technology to discover Cardamom in 2010.
The Cardamom field is 225 miles (362 kilometers) southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, in water more than 2,700 feet (820 meters) deep. Other deep-water Gulf of Mexico growth for Shell includes the Mars B (Shell 71.5 percent) development, which continues to ramp up production, the ultra-deep-water Stones (Shell 100 percent, 50,000 boepd) project, which is under construction; front-end engineering and design is progressing for the Appomattox (Shell 80 percent) project; and, in a recent exploration success, Shell announced a major discovery at its Rydberg (Shell 57.2 percent) well in the Norphlet play.
Shell also discovered oil at its Kaikias (Shell 100 percent) well in the Mars basin, which will require further appraisal in 2015. Last month, Shell also started oil production from its Bonga North West (Shell 55 percent, 40,000 boepd) deep water development off the coast of Nigeria and recently announced a natural gas discovery at its Marjoram-1 (Shell 85 percent) deep-water well in Malaysia, where the Gumusut-Kakap (Shell 33 percent) deep-water platform is also on track for production this year.