Shell's use of the latest deep-water seismic technology led to the discovery of the Cardamom field beneath thick layers of salt more than four miles below the sea floor and undetectable by conventional seismic surveys.
The Cardamom project is a subsea tie-back to Auger, Shell's first deep-water tension-leg platform (TLP) installed 20 years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. First oil production from Cardamom began in September 2014 ahead of schedule using three of five wells planned for the development. With Cardamom's 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day peak production, the new field not only extends the life of Auger, it will also make Auger the company's largest net producing platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
Since its installation 20 years ago, Auger has received topsides upgrades to handle additional production from new discoveries through subsea systems. Our ability to safely tie new fields like Cardamom to existing platforms limits environmental impact by minimizing offshore installations and infrastructure footprint, as well as enables oil production from untapped, less economically-viable fields.
The Cardamom field was discovered in 2010 using advanced state-of-the-art seismic technology allowing for deep subsurface exploration around existing platforms and infrastructure. The discovery was confirmed by drilling a well from Shell's Auger platform that broke records for length and depth, extending more than four miles below the seabed and more than three miles out from the Auger platform.
Demonstrating the credibility of Shell's robust approach to operating safely and responsibly based on rigorous global standards and practices, Cardamom's exploration plan was one of two by Shell that were the first deep-water plans approved by the US Department of Interior after lifting the offshore moratorium in 2011 following the Macondo oil spill. Shell announced final investment decision to develop the Cardamom deep reserves on June 9, 2011.