Houston Chronicle | Jordan Blum | May 23, 2019
Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it has commenced production at its massive new Appomattox platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico a few months ahead of schedule.
The Appomattox - the only major platform coming online this year in the Gulf - is expected to produce 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from its position about 80 miles southeast of the Louisiana coastline. It's the first large-scale production from what's known as the Gulf's Norphlet formation.
Shell made the decision to authorize and build the project back in 2015 during the most recent oil bust. The Appomattox originally wasn't expected to start production until this fall.
Shell sees the Appomattox as a major hub to build other expansions in the region.
"That Appomattox was safely brought online ahead of schedule and far under budget is a testament to our ongoing commitment to drive down costs through efficiency improvements during execution," said Andy Brown, Shell's upstream director. "Appomattox creates a core long-term hub for Shell in the Norphlet through which we can tie back several already discovered fields as well as future discoveries."
Last year, Shell announced the Dover discovery near the Appomattox. That means the new discovery can be further drilled and developed through connections, called tiebacks, to the Appomattox to save costs, rather than build a new platform.
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