Shell begins production at Stones deepwater development

Shell said Tuesday that has started production at a its ultra deepwater oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico, about 200 miles southwest of New Orleans.

The Stones development is expected to produce 50,000 barrels as day oil equivalent when operating at full capacity at the end of 2017. The development is the world’s deepest oil and gas project, producing though subsea infrastructure in 9,500 feet of water.

Stones is solely owned by shell. It is the company’s second producing field from the Lower Tertiary geologic frontier in the Gulf  following Perdido, which started production in 2010.

Shell said the development includes several innovations in well design aimed a dramatically lowering costs. Shell’s deepwater business produces 600,000 barrels a day of oil eqivalent globally, which is expected to increase to 900,000 barrels a day  by the early 2020.