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Shell Features and Highlights

Deep Water - It’s in Their DNA

When Shell’s new Olympus floating tension leg platform (TLP) began first oil production from the Gulf of Mexico in February, a team of seasoned deep-water professionals played a key role in its success. You might say that deep water is in their DNA.

Over the years, they have used decades of knowledge gained in operating offshore to grow and improve Shell’s deep-water business. Along the way they’ve achieved technology milestones in the design, construction, installation and operation of world-class deep-water and ultra deep-water oil and gas production platforms. 

For seasoned professionals like Mars B Project Manager Mark Lindsay, deep water defines their careers. “It does become part of your DNA,” says Lindsay, who has spent 26 of his 36-year career on Shell deep-water projects.

Things have changed significantly since Lindsay executed the world’s first tension leg floating platform, Auger, in 1994. “Then, we were executing the first TLP without any guidance. Today, Olympus represents full collaboration between construction, commissioning and operations teams,” he says.

Olympus is leading a new wave of deep-water projects in the Gulf of Mexico using innovative approaches, top talent and project management capabilities on a spectrum of fresh opportunities.

Opportunities like extending the life of existing fields, tapping into previously unknown oil fields in established production areas, and developing new deep-water frontier discoveries – all to help meet the world’s growing energy demand. 

Shell draws on native experience to make it happen. Olympus Offshore Installation Manager Marvin Blanchard first cut his deep-water teeth 18 years ago as lead for the operations commissioning team on the original Mars platform.

With Shell for more than 33 years, Blanchard says strong team effort is what stands out the most to him in the three big deepwater projects he’s worked -- the Mars, Ursa and Olympus platforms. Blanchard is also amazed at the computer and automation technology in the new platform designs. “We now have a fully functional Remote Control Room at One Shell Square that can operate any piece of equipment on Olympus.”

With Shell’s 30 years of deep-water leadership, these employees have seen their share of cutting-edge innovations.

With each technological achievement and operating innovation comes new knowledge that helps Shell keep its competitive edge and makes it a game changer in the deep-water business.

“Deep water represents the new generation of the oil industry. People who aren’t in our industry are amazed when they hear what we’re doing offshore,” Blanchard says. “Being part of the deep-water team at Shell is exciting. We push technology’s cutting edge.”

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