Discovered in 2017, Whale will feature a semisubmersible production host in more than 8,600 ft (2,621 m) of water with 15 oil producing wells. It will also feature gas turbines and compression systems.
Production is scheduled to begin in 2024. It is expected to reach peak production of about 100,000 boe/d. Estimated recoverable resources are 490 MMboe.
According to Shell, the Whale FPU features a 99% replicated hull and an 80% replication of the topsides from its Vito project in the greater Mars Corridor. Vito is scheduled to begin production in 2022.
Wael Sawan, Shell Upstream Director, said: “Whale is the latest demonstration of our focus on simplification, replication, and capital projects with shorter cycle times to drive greater value from our advantaged positions.”
By leveraging the engineering, construction, and supply chain of Vito, Whale is expected to achieve first oil 7.5 years after discovery, the company said. The cycle time includes the impact from COVID-19 cash-preservation efforts that delayed project FID by one year.
Whale will be the second Shell-operated deepwater development in the Gulf of Mexico to employ a simplified, cost-efficient host design. With this development approach, the company said it anticipates an internal rate of return estimated to be greater than 25%.
Shell Offshore Inc. is the operator and holds 60% interest. Chevron U.S.A. Inc. holds 40% interest.
The Whale FPU will be adjacent to the Shell-operated Silvertip field, about 10 mi (16 km) from the company’s Perdido platform, and approximately 200 mi (322 km) southwest of Houston.
Whale will be Shell’s 12th deepwater host in the Gulf of Mexico.