Olympus offshore platform arrives at deep-water destination (photos)

Shell’s massive Olympus production platform has reached its destination in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, ending an 18,000-mile journey that began last year in South Korea.

Olympus, Shell’s largest tension leg platform, has anchored at Mars B field, where it is expected to begin producing next year at a rate of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in waters about 3,000 feet deep. Shell said Olympus reached the Mars field on July 20, after a 425-mile trip from a construction dock in Ingleside, Texas, and was secured in place last week.

Shell owns 71.5 percent of the Mars development and is the operator, and BP is a 28.5 percent owner.

Shell already has announced plans for its next marvel, a floating production platform for its Stones field in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell says Stones will be the deepest-water field served by such a facility.