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Mississippi Canyon's Princess Subsea Wells Ramp Up

Mississippi Canyon's Princess Subsea Wells Ramp Up

Shell Exploration & Production Co. has ramped up production from the Gulf of Mexico's Princess field subsea wells, and one well currently is flowing at a rate of 9,000 bbl/d and 15 MMcf/d. Princess, located about 140 miles southeast of New Orleans in Mississippi Canyon 765 and 766, has a water depth of 3,650 feet and is located near Shell's Ursa project.

Princess is being developed in phases, according to Shell. Peak production for Princess' initial stage of development now is estimated to be 55,000 bbl/d and 110 MMcf/d, with total gross ultimate recovery for the Princess project estimated to be 175 MMboe.

Princess is Shell's first Gulf of Mexico development to utilize 15,000-psi subsea equipment. In addition, Princess includes an intervention system located on the subsea trees' blowout preventer (BOP), which is a first for the industry and will significantly reduce maintenance costs for Princess. The initial phase of development consists of a Shell Ursa tension leg platform well (A10) and an expandable three-well subsea system tied back to Ursa, which is less than four miles away. The Ursa A10 well began production in 4Q2002; initial Ursa ramp-up began in April 1999 (see Daily GPI, April 14, 1999).

"Princess is another Shell deepwater development that showcases our ability to deliver on critical technologies," said Gaurdie Banister, regional technical director of Shell E&P in the Americas. "In addition to the new BOP intervention system, a new Gulf of Mexico drilling depth record of 33,200 feet measured depth was established at Princess' eastern appraisal well."

Shell is operator and holds a 45% stake in the project. Other stakeholders include BP, 23%, ExxonMobil Corp., 16%, and ConocoPhillips, 16%.

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