Shell’s Cardamom Deep exploration plan

Shell filed a deep-water Gulf of Mexico exploration plan with the federal government on Jan. 28 and revised it on Feb. 22. The revised copy is below.

The plan was the first of its kind filed by an oil company — and deemed “submitted” by the federal government — since the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill triggered tougher safety and environmental mandates. The plan is being subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than exploration plans filed before the Deepwater Horizon disaster, when regulators routinely waived an environmental assessment otherwise required by federal law.

If it is approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the exploration plan would pave the way for Shell to drill three new exploratory wells in approximately 2,950 feet of water at its Cardamom Deep discovery, about 250 miles southeast of Houston.

Shell CEO Marvin Odum told investors in September that the Cardamom Deep discoveries, made in 2009 and 2010, could hold more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Shell exploration plan

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About The Author

Jennifer A. Dlouhy covers energy policy, politics and other issues for The Houston Chronicle and other Hearst Newspapers from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on legal affairs for Congressional Quarterly. She also has worked at The Beaumont Enterprise, The San Antonio Express-News and other newspapers. Jennifer enjoys cooking, gardening and hiking. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and toddler son.