Shell takes FID on deepwater Sparta development in GoM

Dec. 20, 2023
Shell has invested in the Sparta development in the Gulf of Mexico.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON — Shell Offshore made the final investment decision (FID) for Sparta, a deepwater development in the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM) that the company says represents its "competitive approach to simplifying and replicating projects." Owned by Shell Offshore Inc. (51% operator) and Equinor Gulf of Mexico LLC (49%), Sparta is expected to reach a peak production of about 90,000 boe/d and currently has an estimated, discovered recoverable resource volume of 244 MMboe. Sparta, which spans four Outer Continental Shelf blocks in the Garden Banks area, will be Shell’s 15th deepwater host in the GoM and is expected to start production in 2028.Shell says Sparta showcases its cost-efficient development approach through standardized, simplified host designs, first utilized at the Vito development and later replicated at the Whale development. An enhanced replication of Vito and Whale, Sparta replicates about 95% of Whale’s hull and 85% of Whale’s topsides.Sparta also marks Shell’s first development in the GoM to produce from reservoirs with pressures up to 20,000 pounds per square inch.The Sparta development will be the first of Shell’s replicable projects to feature all-electric topside compression equipment, which the company says significantly reduces greenhouse gas intensity and emissions from its operations.

Sparta will feature a semisubmersible production host in a depth of more than 1,400 m (4,700 ft) of water, initially with eight oil and gas producing wells. Sparta’s design closely replicates the 100,000-bbl/d Vito and Whale designs, both of which are four-column semisubmersible host facilities. Vito is located in the greater Mars Corridor and began production in February. Whale will be located in the Perdido corridor and is scheduled to come online in 2024.