Global and Regional MarketsNewsThe Offshore Frontier

Shell reaches FID on Whale development in US Gulf of Mexico

Shell announced that it has reached final investment decision (FID) for Whale, a deepwater development in the US Gulf of Mexico that features a 99% replicated hull and an 80% replication of the topsides from the operator’s Vito project.

“Whale is the latest demonstration of our focus on simplification, replication and capital projects with shorter cycle times to drive greater value from our advantaged positions,” said Wael Sawan, Shell Upstream Director. “We are building on more than 40 years of deepwater expertise to deliver competitive projects that yield high-margin barrels so that we are able to meet the energy demands of today while generating the cash required to help fund the development of the energy of the future.”

Whale will be the second Shell-operated deepwater development in the Gulf of Mexico to employ a simplified, cost-efficient host design. With this development approach, Shell anticipates an internal rate of return estimated to be greater than 25%. The Whale development will feature energy-efficient gas turbines and compression systems.

The Whale development, owned by Shell (60% ownership stake and operator) and Chevron (40%), is expected to reach peak production of approximately 100,000 BOE/day and currently has an estimated recoverable resource volume of 490 million BOE. Whale will be Shell’s 12th deepwater facility in the Gulf of Mexico and is currently scheduled to begin production in 2024.

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