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Sunday, August 25, 2019

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Shell begins production at platform in Gulf

Shell begins production at platform in Gulf

HOUMA, La. — Shell Oil Co. says production has begun ahead of schedule at its Appomattox platform in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Courier reports Andy Brown, upstream director for Royal Dutch Shell, said in a news release Friday that the site was brought online earlier than expected and under budget.

At its peak, Shell expects Appomattox to produce about 175,000 barrels of oil per day.

Appomattox, Shell's largest floating platform, operates in 7,400-feet of water, a depth equivalent to about five Empire State Buildings. It's the first large-scale production from what's known as the Gulf's Norphlet formation, about 200 miles southeast of Port Fourchon.

It's also the Gulf's first production from a Jurassic reservoir, high-quality oil in sediments that date back about 150 million years.

Analysts have said the Appomattox development, which required new technology to reach greater depths at higher pressures, serves as a bellwether.

“If the Jurassic roars to life in 2019, it could give operators greater confidence in the play’s potential,” William Turner, senior research analyst at the global energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, said in January. “However, if Appomattox disappoints, the Jurassic could continue to lie dormant. The wider region would also be missing an expected strong production growth contributor.”

It’s also a sign of life in a Gulf oilfield that has struggled since a global oil glut in mid-2014 sent crude prices tumbling and wiped out an estimated 16,000 local jobs.

Appomattox, like almost all of the Gulf’s oil platforms, is serviced out of the oilfield hub at Port Fourchon.

Information from: The Courier,