In September 2016, Shell started production at Stones in the US Gulf of Mexico. Stones is expected to produce around 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) when fully ramped up at the end of 2017. Stones is the world’s deepest and oil and gas project, operating in around 9,500 feet (2,900 meters ) of water in an ultra-deep area of the US Gulf of Mexico.
The host facility for the world’s deepest offshore oil and gas project is a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The FPSO connects to subsea infrastructure which produces oil and gas from reservoirs nearly 30,000 feet below sea level. Stones is Shell’s second producing field in the Lower Tertiary geologic frontier in the Gulf of Mexico, following Perdido in 2010.
- Location: Gulf of Mexico; 200 miles southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana
- Depth: Water depth ~9,500 feet; reservoir depth ~26,500 feet below sea level
- Interests: Shell 100% owner and operator
- Fields: Stones field, discovered 2005
- Production: An estimated 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day at peak production
In November 2015, the Turritella FPSO for Stones set sail from Singapore to its final destination in the Gulf of Mexico. The project is located in the Gulf of Mexico’s lower tertiary geologic trend, a new frontier in deep water where Shell achieved first commercial production with Perdido.
Phase one of the project includes eight subsea production wells tied back to the FPSO. Multiphase seafloor pumping is planned for a later phase to pump oil and gas from the seabed to the vessel, increasing recoverable volumes and production rates.