Shell Makes FID for Sparta Development in Gulf of Mexico

Shell Whale asset leaving Singapore (Credit: Shell)
Shell Whale asset leaving Singapore (Credit: Shell)

Shell Offshore, a U.S. subsidiary of Shell, has reached the Final Investment Decision (FID) for Sparta, a deepwater development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. 

Owned by Shell Offshore (51% operator) and Equinor Gulf of Mexico (49%), Sparta is expected to reach a peak production of approximately 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) and currently has an estimated, discovered recoverable resource volume of 244 million boe. 

Sparta will be Shell's 15th deep-water host in the Gulf of Mexico and is currently scheduled to begin production in 2028. 

The development plan includes eight production wells tied back to a semi-submersible floating production unit. 

Zoë Yujnovich, Shell's Integrated Gas & Upstream Director, said: "This investment decision is aligned with our commitment to pursue the most energy-efficient and competitive projects while supplying safe, secure energy supplies today and for decades to come."

The Sparta development spans four Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks in the Garden Banks area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. 

Building on more than 40 years of deepwater expertise, Sparta also marks Shell's first development in the Gulf of Mexico to produce from reservoirs with pressures up to 20,000 pounds per square inch. 

The field was discovered in 2012 by Cobalt International Energy. TotalEnergies became operator at that time with 60% equity, before withdrawing from the project in February 2022, releasing all its equity to Equinor. 

Equinor later sold the 51% stake in the project to Shell, retaining 49% interest.

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