PowerNap, a subsea development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) tied back to the Olympus platform in the Mars Corridor, has begun producing oil and natural gas, Shell plc said Tuesday.

Estimated peak production from the development in the Mars Corridor of Mississippi Canyon is 20,000 boe/d, according to subsidiary Shell Offshore Inc. PowerNap was sanctioned in 2019 and 100% developed by the London-based major.

“Shell has been producing in the Mars Corridor for more than 25 years, and we continue to find ways to unlock even more value there,” said Shell Upstream director Zoe Yujnovich. “PowerNap strengthens a core upstream position that is critical to achieving our Powering Progress strategy and ensuring we can supply the stable, secure energy resources the world needs today and in the future.”

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PowerNap was discovered in 2014 in the south-central Mississippi Canyon area. Three wells produce oil and natural gas through an insulated 19-mile flowline. 

Production from the development, about 150 miles from New Orleans in 4,200 feet of water, is tied back to the Shell-operated Olympus tension leg platform (TLP). The TLP has 24 well slots and a self-contained drilling rig. 

Shell, the leading producer in the U.S. GOM deepwater, said its offshore production has “among the lowest” greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity in the world for producing oil. The reference to GOM production having among the lowest GHG intensity is a comparison with other members of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, it has noted.

Shell’s Upstream business today is focused on offshore and liquefied natural gas. The global deepwater portfolio represents two core Upstream businesses, with prolific basins in the United States and Brazil, as well as a frontier exploration portfolio in Argentina, Mexico, Suriname and West Africa. 

In the U.S. GOM, Shell operates nine deepwater production hubs, numerous subsea production systems and has one of the largest contracted drilling rig fleets. It also is the largest leaseholder in U.S. waters, with some of the most recent discoveries in the prolific Perdido thrust belt.

Since 2015, Shell said it has reduced GOM unit development costs by 50% and unit operating costs by 40%.

Shell operates Olympus with a 71.5% working interest, with BP plc controlling the remaining 28.5%. PowerNap production is being transported onshore via the Mars pipeline, which is operated by Shell Pipeline Co. LP and co-owned by Shell Midstream Partners LP (71.5%) and BP Midstream Partners LP (28.5%).