Shell Exploration & Production (SEPCo) announced that it has begun oil and gas production from its 100%-owned Brutus tension leg platform (TLP) located in Green Canyon Block 158 in 2,985 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Production began on Aug. 3 and is continuing to ramp up. The average daily production rate currently is about 25,000 barrels of oil and 35 MMcf of gas from the first well. A peak daily production rate of 100,000 barrels of oil and 150 MMcf of gas from the Brutus field is expected to be reached by the second quarter of 2002. Gross ultimate recovery is estimated at about 250 million boe.

Brutus, an eight-slot TLP, is Shell’s first deepwater platform to be specifically designed to serve as a hub for future subsea developments in the surrounding area, although several Shell platforms have been previously retrofitted to serve as hubs. Brutus is Shell’s fifth TLP in the Gulf.

“Working seamlessly with the SEPCo staff, we developed and executed a plan that completed the Brutus project seven months earlier than the previous best completion time and 18% below our cost benchmark, which was the Ram Powell project,” said Matthias Bichsel, director of Deepwater Services at Shell International Exploration and Production. Shell’s Deepwater Services was responsible for design, construction and installation of the TLP system and pipelines, while SEPCo is responsible for subsurface evaluation and management, drilling, completion and production operations.

Although viable as a stand-alone project, the Brutus field will not be the only oil and gas development utilizing the platform for processing. “Designing the Brutus platform to accommodate future production from surrounding areas continues Shell’s successful strategy of establishing and leveraging significant infrastructure points in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico,” said Raoul Restucci, CEO of SEPCo. “Having a strong infrastructure creates an economic and competitive advantage and minimizes the environmental footprint of future operations.”

The Brutus tension leg platform is located 165 miles southwest of New Orleans. It is 3,250 feet high from the seafloor to the crown block of the drilling rig. Although similar in size and configuration to Shell’s Mars and Ram Powell TLPs, Brutus was designed with increased displacement to handle subsea tiebacks and with dual processing systems for its role as a hub.

©Copyright 2001 Intelligence Press Inc. Allrights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republishedor redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without priorwritten consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.