Shell has started production from the Stones development in the Gulf of Mexico, the world’s deepest offshore oil and gas project.
When fully ramped up at the end of 2017, the development is expected to produce approximately 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), the company informed in a statement.
“Stones is the latest example of our leadership, capability and knowledge, which are key to profitably developing our global deep water resources. Our growing expertise in using such technologies in innovative ways will help us unlock more deep water resources around the world,” Royal Dutch Shell Upstream Director, Andy Brown, said.
The project, fully owned and operated by the supermajor, is Shell’s second producing field from the lower tertiary geologic frontier in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the company, it features a more cost-effective well design, requiring less material and lower installation costs, which is expected to offer a US$1 billion (£749.38 million) reduction in well costs.
Some reservoirs have communication with a water zone (aquifer) underneath. When reservoir pressure drops due to production, the compressed water in an aquifer expands into a reservoir and it helps pressure maintenance. This mechanism is called “water drive”.
Water drive mechanism will be effective if an aquifer contacting reservoir is very large because water compressibility is very low. For example, an anticline structure with extensive water zone (aquifer) will have the most advantage from the use of a water drive mechanism. Conversely, stratigraphic reservoirs or highly-faulted reservoirs will have limited aquifer volume so water drive is insignificant.