p.2 ~ Shell expands presence in deepwater GoM with Mars B

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For the drilling phase, Shell selected Noble Corp.'sNoble Bully I to drill the top sections of the 24 wells at Mars B, as well as the West Boreas and South Diemos satellite wells. The Noble Bully I features a multi-purpose tower, and is more fuel efficient than older units. This brought a fuel savings of 20 to 30%, and helped to lower emissions in the process.

Shell was able to lower its costs on the Mars B project through standardization and repeatability. For example, using software to model lifting activities enabled the company to make those actions more safe and efficient. Enterprise frame agreements with key suppliers were also an important part of this effort, since they helped to streamline the global supply chain.

Shell made use of standardized components to ensure that subsea trees were ready when the rig was available for work. Shell also developed a "standardized kit" which enabled global suppliers to make sure that they met the company's specification needs.

Integration was a key to the success of the project, and this included integration of the topsides and other surface facilities, drilling and production equipment, and subsea components.

Another key was the global supply chain. For Mars B, Shell depended upon engineering firms, and service and supply companies from South Korea, Europe, and the US Gulf Coast. In all, some 20,000 people contributed to the work on Mars B.

The hull of the TLP was constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries, while the fabrication and installation of the topsides were performed by Kiewit Offshore Services. The hull was completed in November 2012 and transported from the construction yard in South Korea to Ingleside, Texas, in June 2013, using Dockwise'Blue Marlin semisubmersible heavy-lift ship.

The shifting of the platform from Ingleside to the project site was carried out in July 2013 using Crowley's four ocean-class tugboatsOcean Wind, Ocean Wave, Ocean Sky and Ocean Sun, as well as its contracted offshore tugboat Harvey War Horse II. Heerema's Balder deepwater construction vessel was also involved in the installation of the TLP.

Engineering and design works, including assistance during commissioning and start-up of the TLP, were provided by William Jacob Management. The certified verification agent (CVA) for the TLP was ABS.

Broadmoor constructed the living quarters of the platform in collaboration with Hi-Tech Electric. The marine instrumentation system for the TLP was supplied by BMT Scientific Marine Services. A corrosion-resistant rotational lining solution for the caissons was provided by RMB Products.

The structural design of the living quarters and structural and piping design of the drilling module were provided by T-REX. The company also rendered engineering assistance for the load-out and transportation of the drilling module.

Up to 80 mi of 16 and 18-in. oil and gas pipelines were coated by The Bayou Companies, a subsidiary of Aegion Corporation. The WD-143C platform was fabricated by McDermott International.

Dril-Quip was contracted to supply the subsea wellhead equipment, production riser tieback connectors and drilling riser components for the project. Cortec Manifold Systems provided the compact ball and check valves.

Some 192 people will live and work in the four-story living quarters of the TLP, which features kitchens, fitness rooms, control rooms and an on-site medical facility. Production is expected to ramp up to 100,000 boe/d by 2016. Shell serves as the operator of the project with a 71.5% ownership, with BP owning the remaining 28.5%.

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