Shell today announced a significant, multi-billion dollar investment to develop its major Cardamom oil and gas field in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). The Cardamom project is expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a day at peak production and more than 140 million boe over its lifetime.
"Technological advances in seismic imaging and drilling have allowed us to both discover and access this new field," said Marvin Odum, Shell Upstream Americas Director. "This is another sizeable deep-water investment by Shell that strengthens energy supplies to the USA. It will also secure employment for more offshore workers."
Shell's rigorous global safety standards underpin our approach to deep-water exploration and production. Our exploration plan for Cardamom (Shell interest 100%) was the first to receive approval since the lifting of the US government moratorium on drilling in the GoM. As a result of today's final investment decision, Shell will move ahead with further development drilling and installing undersea equipment.
Shell discovered the Cardamom reservoir in 2010 using advanced seismic technology that was able to produce improved images versus traditional seismic methods. The discovery was confirmed by drilling a well from Shell's Auger platform that broke records for length and depth. The exploration wells were drilled more than 6.4 kilometres (four miles) below the seabed.
Production from Cardamom will flow through the Auger platform, minimising the offshore footprint by using existing infrastructure.
The development of the Cardamom field is the latest step in Shell's deep-water energy production activities in the GoM. Perdido, the world's deepest offshore production facility, came on-stream in 2010. Later that year Shell announced the decision to go ahead with a second platform in our Mars B field in the GoM.
Today's final investment decision for Cardamom is in line with Shell's continued drive to increase global oil and gas production. The rapid progress from discovery of the reservoir to the launch of development plans represents Shell's ability to move forward with projects of major value.
The Cardamom field is located 6.4kms (4 miles) below the seafloor the other side of a salt column from the main Auger fields.