Equinor said on Wednesday it has agreed to sell to Shell a 51% operating stake in the North Platte deepwater development project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Equinor will retain 49% interest in the project, now renamed Sparta.
Discovered in 2012 by Cobalt International Energy, Sparta straddles blocks 915, 916, 958 and 959 of the Garden Banks area, 275 kilometers off the coast of Louisiana in approximately 1,300 meters water depth.
In 2018, TotalEnergies became operator with 60% interest in the development, while Equinor acquired 40% interest. TotalEnergies withdrew from the project in February 2022 releasing all its equity to Equinor.
Front-end engineering and design (FEED) has been matured for the project, according to Equinor, which said it will work with the new operator Shell to review to update the development plan.
“Equinor has long-term view of Sparta as a high-quality project with a clear strategic fit for the company. Sparta will strengthen our position in the Gulf of Mexico as well as our overall role as a reliable energy supplier to the U.S.,” said Chris Golden, Equinor Senior Vice President, U.S. Upstream, Exploration and Production International.
“This is a development opportunity that is expected to add significant value with lower carbon emissions intensity. We are pleased to welcome Shell and look forward to sharing our experience and technology to move this valuable project forward,” Golden said.