By Tsvetana Paraskova
Shell said on Thursday that it had started early production at a deepwater subsea development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico a year ahead of schedule and at a forward-looking, break-even price of less than $30 per barrel of oil.
Shell began early production at the Kaikias development that has an estimated peak production of 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), adding more production in its key deepwater focus area, the Gulf of Mexico.
Shell made the investment decision on the project early last year and has reduced costs at the development by some 30 percent since then, the supermajor said in a statement.
“We believe Kaikias is the most competitive subsea development in the Gulf of Mexico and a prime example of the deep-water opportunities we’re able to advance with our technical expertise and capital discipline,” said Andy Brown, Upstream Director, Royal Dutch Shell.
The Kaikias development, which took less than four years from discovery to phase one production, is located in the Mars-Ursa basin around 130 miles from the Louisiana coast. Kaikias sends production from its four wells to the Shell-operated Ursa hub, and ultimately into the Mars oil pipeline.
Just last week, Shell said that it had made a large deepwater exploration discovery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, just 13 miles from its Appomattox project that is expected to start production by the end of 2019. The Dover discovery is Shell’s sixth in the Norphlet geologic play in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and is considered an attractive potential tieback due to its proximity to Appomattox.
The Appomattox project is planned to have peak annual production of 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
At the end of April, Harry Brekelmans, Shell Projects and Technology Director, said that the oil major is targeting deepwater projects to break even at $40 or preferably below that threshold.