Shell has restarted production at its Mars and Ursa platforms, bringing the last of its operated assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico online.
Shell said that the Mars and Ursa platforms also began exporting oil and gas through the West Delta-143 (WD-143) “A” facility. Once these two are fully ramped up the company’s entire Gulf of Mexico production will return to pre-Hurricane Ida levels.
“Our Hurricane Ida recovery efforts are the latest example of how our people come together with great determination to tackle the biggest challenges of the day,” Zoe Yujnovich, Shell Upstream Director, said.
“We are proud to have safely restored our full production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, where the barrels are among the lowest GHG intensity in the world.”
The West Delta-143 offshore facility was damaged by Hurricane Ida in late August and early September 2021. Before the hurricane struck, Shell, among other Gulf of Mexico operators, evacuated and shut down most of its assets in the region. At one time, around 80 percent of Shell’s Gulf of Mexico production was shut-in.
Shell, the largest U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil producer, was also the hardest-hit producer from Ida, removed 28 million barrels of oil from the market during its peak shutdown.
The West Delta-143 facilities serve as the transfer station for all production from Shell’s assets in the Mars corridor in the Mississippi Canyon area to onshore crude terminals. To clarify, the Mars corridor consists of tension leg platforms Mars, Olympus, and Ursa – all operated by Shell.
Shell already restarted production at the Olympus platform on October 1, 2021, and began exporting oil and gas through the WD-143 “C” facility.
When Mars and Ursa are fully ramped up, Shell will have 100 percent of its operated production in the Gulf of Mexico back online, ahead of schedule from initial estimates.
The company believed that the West Delta-143 A platform would be offline for repairs until the end of 2021 and that the WD-143 C platform would be operational sometime during the fourth quarter of 2021. Shell also believed that Mars and Ursa would not be restarted before the first quarter of 2022.