Shell’s biggest oil platform heads for deep-water Gulf

Shell’s Olympus platform is finally embarking on its last epic voyage.

The Dutch company’s biggest and recently constructed tension leg platform started its final pre-production journey on Sunday, setting sail from the construction dock in Ingleside, Texas (near Corpus Christi) for a 425-mile voyage to the Mars B Field in the Gulf of Mexico.

For the next ten days, multiple tugboats will haul the 120,000-ton Olympus through the Aransas Pass jetties to its site destination 130 miles south of New Orleans.

Shipyard: Deep-water platforms ready for Gulf of Mexico (photos)

Earlier this year, the hull made an 18,000-mile, two-month trek from South Korea to Ingleside.

The Olympus is Shell’s sixth and largest tension leg platform and will be used to process oil and gas from two of Shell’s deep water discoveries, West Boreas and South Deimos.

The Olympus TLP is expected to start production in 2014, producing at a rate of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Big money: US Gulf oil profits lure $16 billion more rigs by 2015

It’s the latest sign of a drilling resurgence in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, after the massive oil spill in 2010 that led to a temporary moratorium on drilling there. Shell also is preparing for the final stage of a $2.5 billion project at its Auger platform, tying in wells from the Cardamom field, expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day at its peak.

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