Shell announces new Gulf of Mexico discovery

The drillship Noble Globetrotter I drilled the Rydberg well and is currently repositioning to drill the Gettysburg exploratory well. (photo/Noble Corp.)

The drillship Noble Globetrotter I drilled the Rydberg well and is currently repositioning to drill the Gettysburg exploratory well. (photo/Noble Corp.)

HOUSTON — Shell Oil Co. on Tuesday announced an offshore discovery in the Gulf of Mexico it believes contains 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The discovery was made about 75 miles offshore in the eastern portion of the Gulf in water that’s nearly 7,500 feet deep.

The find marks the third major discovery for Shell in an area known as the Norphlet play, where the company has been exploring for more than a decade. The discovery was made at an exploration well called Rydberg.

“The Rydberg discovery builds upon our leadership position in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and its proximity to our other discoveries in the area make Rydberg particularly exciting,” said Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Co., the Houston-based U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell.

The discovery is within 10 miles of two other discoveries, known as Appomattox and Vicksburg; combined, the three total 700 million barrels of oil equivalent, Shell said.

The discovery marks the first for a partnership consisting of Shell, an affiliate of China National Offshore Oil Corp. and the American affiliate of Colombia’s Ecopetrol.

Shell is moving forward with engineering design for infrastructure that will allow production at the the Appomattox site. It will also soon drill an exploratory well at the nearby Gettysburg site.

More on the Shell discovery at houstonchronicle.com.


Also on FuelFix, you can learn more about the the 18,000-mile journey of Shell’s Olympus hull, which was hauled through multiple bodies of water last year from its construction site in South Korea. The towering structure met up with its topsides at a shipyard near Corpus Christi, Texas, before tugboats towed it out to the Mars field.

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