Shell Moves Forward on New Gulf of Mexico Development at Stones

       Shell Moves Forward on New Gulf of Mexico Development at Stones

PR Newswire

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, May 8, 2013

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) today announces a
final investment decision in the Stones ultra-deepwater project, a Gulf of
Mexico oil and gas development expected to host the deepest production
facility in the world. This decision sets in motion the construction and
fabrication of a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel
and subsea infrastructure. The development will start with two subsea
production wells tied back to the FPSO vessel, followed later by six
additional production wells. This first phase of development is expected to
have annual peak production of 50,000 boe/d from more than 250 million boe of
recoverable resources. The Stones field has significant upside potential and
is estimated to contain over 2 billion boe of oil in place.

"This important investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to usher in the
next generation of deepwater developments, which will deliver more production
growth in the Americas," said John Hollowell, Executive Vice President for
Deepwater, Shell Upstream Americas. "We will continue our leadership in safe,
innovative deepwater operations to help meet the growing demand for energy in
the US." 

The Stones field is located in 9,500 feet (2,896 meters) of water,
approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana,
and was discovered in 2005. The project encompasses eight US Federal Outer
Continental Shelf lease blocks in the Gulf of Mexico's Lower Tertiary geologic
trend. Shell has been one of the pioneers in the Lower Tertiary, establishing
first production in the play from its Perdido Development.

An FPSO design was selected to safely develop and produce this ultra-deepwater
discovery, while addressing the relative lack of infrastructure, seabed
complexity, and unique reservoir properties. With an FPSO, tankers will
transport oil from the Stones FPSO to US refineries, and gas will be
transported by pipeline.

The launch of the Stones development is a key milestone as Shell continues to
grow deepwater exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico, having made
significant progress recently on the Mars-B development project with the
arrival of the Olympus tension leg platform. Shell is also in the concept
selection phase for the Appomattox and Vito discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell holds 100% interest and will operate the Stones development.


  oA turret with a disconnectable buoy will allow the FPSO vessel to
    weathervane in normal conditions and to disconnect from the well system
    and sail to safe areas in the event of adverse weather conditions.
  oA lazy wave riser configuration will be used, consisting of a steel
    catenary riser with buoyancy added with an arch bend to decouple the FPSO
    dynamic motions and subsequently increase riser performance.
  oA combination of polyester rope and chain comprises the ultra-deepwater
    mooring system holding the FPSO on station.
  oMultiphase seafloor pumping is planned for use in a later phase to pump
    oil and gas from the seabed to the FPSO, increasing recoverable volumes
    and production rates.

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