First oil production begun in February 2014 from the Mars B development through Olympus, Shell’s seventh, and largest, floating deep-water platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Combined production from Olympus and Shell’s original Mars platform is expected to deliver an estimated resource base of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

The project is also directly investing $5 million dollars in community, social and environmental initiatives with the aim to benefit the communities of the US Gulf Coast, as well as in South Korea, where the hull of the Olympus platform was built.

Olympus sailing into the Gulf of Mexico
Olympus sailing into the Gulf of Mexico

Shell’s Mars B development is the first deep-water project in the US Gulf of Mexico to expand an existing offshore oil and gas field with significant new infrastructure, which should extend the life of the greater Mars basin to 2050 or beyond.

First oil production begun in January 2014 from the Mars B development through Olympus, Shell’s seventh, and largest, floating deep-water platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Combined production from Olympus and Shell’s original Mars platform is expected to deliver an estimated resource base of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Olympus is a tension leg platform (TLP) featuring 24 well slots, a self-containing drilling rig, and capability for subsea tie-backs.

In addition to the Olympus drilling and production platform, the Shell Mars B development includes subsea wells at the West Boreas and South Deimos fields, export pipelines, and a shallow-water platform, located at West Delta 143, near the Louisiana coast.

Olympus sits in approximately 3,100 feet of water (945 metres). Using the Olympus platform drilling rig and an additional floating drill rig, development drilling will enable ramp up to an estimated peak of 100,000 boe per day in 2016. The Mars field produced an average of over 60,000 boe per day in 2013.

The Mars field was discovered by Shell in 1989 and has contributed significantly to US energy supply. A combination of factors produced the growth enabled by Mars B, including improved understanding of the reservoir and recovery potential by using advanced seismic and modeling technologies, as well as new discoveries in the Mars field.

Location:

Gulf of Mexico; 130 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the Mississippi Canyon area

Depth: Water depth ~3,100 feet
Interests: Shell (71.5% & operator) and BP (28.5%)
Fields: Mars, West Boreas, South Deimos
Production:
Combined development has potential to deliver production rates in the order of ~100k boe/d.
Mars B field in the Gulf of Mexico
Mars B field in the Gulf of Mexico

The Mars B project will add new infrastructure to develop the Mars field and nearby exploration discoveries: the Olympus tension leg platform (TLP), with 24 well slots and a self-contained drilling rig; the West Boreas/South Deimos subsea system; and an oil and gas export system, including a WD-143C shallow-water platform.

Mars Field Facts

  • Mars Field discovered in 1989 and began producing in 1996.
    Located approximately 130 miles south of New Orleans.
  • 3000 feet water depth.
  • To date has produced over 700 million barrels (the equivalent of about 13 billion gallons of gasoline that at an average of 20 mpg could fuel a vehicle to travel over 10 million times round the equator!), with significant resource base remaining to be developed.
  • Mars B extends Mars Field life to at least 2050.

Project Specific Facts

  • First Gulf of Mexico deepwater project of its kind to significantly expand an existing oil field operation. In doing so, the development maximizes the recovery of a true deepwater giant and ensures the Mars field will continue to contribute to US energy supply for future decades.
  • Olympus TLP will also provide process infrastructure for two recent deep water discoveries, West Boreas and South Deimos.
    Reservoirs located at depth of 10,000 feet to 22,000 feet (approximately 2 to 4 miles below sea level).
  • Development located in approximately 3,100 feet water depth.
    192 people will live and work on Olympus TLP.
  • Production capacity is approximately 100,000 boe/d.
  • Mars B impacted over 25,000 employees in 37 US states during the construction phase.
  • Expected first production in 2014.
  • Olympus is the seventh and largest floating platform for Shell in the Gulf of Mexico.

Olympus TL P is more than twice as ‘big’ as Mars TL P

  • Olympus weighs over 120,000 tons, which is heavier than 300 Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets.
  • From base of Hull to Top of Derrick, Olympus is 406 feet tall (approximately 1.5*
  • Height of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana @ 253 feet).
  • Olympus combined deck area = 342,000 feet2 (greater than total floor area of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana @ 269,000 feet2).
  • Olympus column spacing = 250 feet (center/center) – similar footprint to One Shell Square in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  OLYMPUS TLP URSA TLP MARS TLP

Weight (displacement in water)

126,000 tons

98,000 tons 55,000 tons
Deck Area 342,000 sqft 305,000 sqft 215,000 sqft
Column Spacing (center/center) 250 ft 240 ft 220 ft

Articles

  • Discovering Hidden Energy
  • Deep Water - It's In Their DNA
  • Real-Time Collaboration
  • Mars B Contributes to Communities

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