ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC: Shell moves forward on new GOM development at Stones

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC: Shell moves forward on new GOM development at Stones
Shell moves forward on new Gulf of Mexico development at Stones 
8th May 2013, The Hague. Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) 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. 
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  * A 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.
      * A 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.
      * A combination of polyester rope and chain comprises the ultra-deepwater
    mooring system holding the FPSO on station.
      * Multiphase 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.

Royal Dutch Shell plc
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its
headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York
stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and
territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production;
production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids;
manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and
renewable energy projects. For further information, visit 
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-0- May/08/2013 13:00 GMT
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