First oil production started ahead of schedule in September 2014 from the Cardamom field in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil from Cardamom is piped through the existing Auger platform, Shell's first deep-water tension-leg platform installed 20 years ago.

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 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.

Cardamom Project Overview

Auger worker with book

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.

Location: Gulf of Mexico; 225 miles (362 kilometers) southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the Gardens Bank area

Depth:

Water depth ~ 2,720 feet (800 meters)

Interests:

Shell (100%)

Fields:

Cardamom

Production:

50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) peak rate 

Project Facts

Cardamom Facts Inforgraphic
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The Cardamom project is a subsea development that will add new infrastructure to the Auger Tension Leg Platform (TLP). Production from Cardamom will flow through the Auger platform, limiting the development’s offshore footprint by using existing infrastructure.

Cardamom Field Facts

  • Cardamom field discovered in 2010.
  • FID announced June 9, 2011.
  • Cardamom will consist of a subsea system that will tie back to Auger and from direct vertical access wells drilled from the Auger TLP.
  • The Auger TLP is 3,280 feet high, from sea floor to the top of the flare tower.
  • The steel weight of the TLP is 39,000 tons.
  • The TLP is designed to simultaneously withstand hurricane force waves of 71 feet and winds of 140 mph.
  • Modifications were made to the Auger TLP to accommodate hydrocarbons from the Cardamom project.
  • Modifications include a new helideck, enhanced Auger capacity, and a closed cooling water system

Project Specific Facts

  • First Gulf of Mexico deep-water project of its kind to retrofit a producing tension leg platform. Cardamom is an example of using existing infrastructure to increase oil and gas production in a less capital-intensive way.
  • Cardamom Exploration Plan was the first blue-water well to be approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) following the Macondo incident of April 2010 and subsequent drilling moratorium.
  • Cardamom used extended reach drilling to discover Cardamom.
  • „„Cardamom uses state-of-the-art seismic technology called “ocean-bottom seismic” (OBS); allowing for deep exploration around existing structures.
  • „„Cardamom project includes plans to drill five subsea wells over two years.
  • „Cardamom is expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day at its peak rate.

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