Shell sets subsea well drilling and completion record

Shell Oil Co. has set a world water depth record in drilling and completing a subsea well 9,356 ft (2,852 m) below the water's surface in the Silvertip field at the Perdido Development project in the Gulf of Mexico.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- Shell Oil Co. has set a world water depth record in drilling and completing a subsea well 9,356 ft (2,852 m) below the water's surface in the Silvertip field at the Perdido Development project in the Gulf of Mexico.

As an oil well, the Perdido record is 35% deeper than the previous oil well record of 6,950 ft (2,118 m), also set by Shell at the Gulf of Mexico's Fourier field. At Perdido, Shell intends to drill an even deeper well at the Tobago field at 9,627 ft (2,934 m), which will surpass the present world record at Silvertip, the company says.

The Perdido Development will drill 35 wells (22 direct vertical access and 13 remote) in the Great White, Tobago, and Silvertip fields located in Alaminos Canyon. Moored in about 8,000 ft (2,438 m) of water, the drilling and production facility will be the deepest in the world, the company says. Nine polyester mooring lines averaging more than 2 mi (3.2 km) in length now hold the spar in place. The floating structure will weigh 50,000-tons (45,359-metric tons) and be nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower when fully operational.

First production from Perdido is expected around the turn of the decade, with the facility capable of handling 130,000 boe/d. To get the oil and gas to market requires installing 77 mi (124 km) of oil export pipelines and 107 mi (172 km) of gas export pipelines.

The Perdido Development includes a common processing hub that incorporates drilling capability and functionality to gather, process, and export production within a 30-mi (48-km) radius of the facility.

12/02/2008

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