Posts Tagged ‘Shell’

Per the BSEE borehole file, there were 2 deepwater exploratory well starts since 4/1/2023. The Shell well is another GoM milestone in that it is the 150th well spudded in >8000′ of water. The first was in the year 2000.

Operatorspud datelocationwater depth
Chevron5/5/2023Mississippi Canyon 6086678′
Shell4/13/2023Alaminos Canyon 7288660′

Arena and Cantium continue to drive shelf drilling. Below are the shelf development wells since 4/1/2023:

Operatorspud datelocationwater depth
Arena5/6/2023Eugene Island 261160′
Cantium4/8/2023Main Pass 3860′
Cantium4/1/2023Main Pass 299217′

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Based on drilling contractor rig activity reports, the table below lists 19 deepwater MODUs under or soon to begin contracts in the GoM. (Further details are pasted at the end of this post.) Per the Valeris report, platform rigs are operating on bp’s Thunder Horse and Mad Dog platforms. Per the BSEE borehole file, Arena and Cantium continue to drill development wells on the GoM shelf.

Rig NameOperator
Deepwater TitanChevron
Deepwater AtlasBeacon
Deepwater PoseidonShell
Deepwater PontusShell
Deepwater ProteusShell
Deepwater Conquerornot disclosed
Deepwater ThalassaShell
Deepwater AsgardMurphy
Deepwater InvictusWoodside
Globetrotter IShell
Globetrotter IIShell
Faye KozackQuarterNorth
Stanley LafosseMurphy
Valaris DS-18Chevron
Valaris DS-16Oxy
Ocean BlackHornetbp
Ocean Black Lionbp

Excerpts from rig activity reports:

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With the announcement of first oil at Argos, 3 of the 5 next generation deepwater platforms (simpler, safer, and greener) are now producing oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. The other 2 platforms are expected to begin production in 2024.

Prior to the installation of these platforms, the last deepwater platform addition was Shell’s Appomattox in 2018. That gap in deepwater platform installations was the longest since Bullwinkle was installed in 1988.

The 5 new structures will increase the deepwater platform count by 9% from 56 to 61, and in the next few years should account for approximately 1/4 of GoM oil production.

King’s QuayMurphy3725April 2022100,000
VitoShell4000Feb 2023100,000
Argosbp4500April 2023140,000
AnchorChevron50002024 (est.)80,000
WhaleShell86002024 (est.)100,000

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The encouraging start to 2023 GoM production is likely due, at least in part, to Shell’s Vito and Murphy’s King’s Quay ramping up production. Other deepwater startups should boost production later this year.

EIA data

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companyno. of Sale 259 high bids
(Sale 257 in parentheses)
total Sale 259 high bids
($ millions)
Chevron75 (34)108
BP37 (46)46.7
Shell21 (20)20.1
Equinor16 (1)18.3
Beacon13 (4)9.0
Anadarko (Oxy)13 (30)8.6
Red Willow13 (5)3.8
Hess12 (2)8.3
Woodside12 (8)6.3
Houston Energy8 (5)11.6
from BOEM data

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  • 313 blocks receiving bids
  • 353 bids
  • 32 companies submitting bids
  • High bids totaled $263.8 million

Exxon doubled down on their strategic CCS bidding; their only bids (69 in total) again appeared to be solely for carbon sequestration purposes. As previously noted, acquiring tracts for CCS purposes is not authorized in an oil and gas sale. Arguably, these bids should be rejected.

The other super-majors, BP, Chevron, and Shell, were active participants as were many independents.

It was good to see BOEM Director Liz Klein announcing bids. This shows respect for the OCS oil and gas program.

It was also good to hear that Red Willow, a native American corporation, was again an active participant.

More to follow.

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“I am of a firm view that the world will need oil and gas for a long time to come,” (Shell Chief Executive) Sawan, who started the job on Jan. 1, told Times Radio in the U.K. on Friday. “As such, cutting oil and gas production is not healthy.

Back in 2021, Shell predicted that its own oil production would decline every year and drop by as much as 18% by 2030. BP had a similar outlook, but CEO Bernard Looney rolled back its climate targets this year and said it will increase investment in exploration and production.

BP and Shell have trailed their U.S. peers in price to earnings ratios. Analysts have said investors interested in exposure to oil and gas have shunned them for putting more money into renewables, while investors focusing on environmental concerns haven’t rewarded them. That’s kept European energy firms trading at a discount.


It will never happen, but a separate company composed of BP and/or Shell upstream US assets would be very attractive to investors.

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Some may not be aware that the Chinese government, through a fully owned subsidiary of the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), is a leaseholder in the US Gulf of Mexico. Per BOEM records, CNOOC Petroleum USA Inc currently has ownership in 12 OCS leases. Most significantly, CNOOC holds 21% interest in the Appomattox Field, operated by Shell, and a 25% working interest in Stampede, operated by Hess. Peak oil production for these projects is expected to be 175,000 bopd for Appomattox and up to 80,000 bopd for Stampede.

CNOOC acquired the Gulf of Mexico properties through its purchase of Nexen, a Canadian company, in 2013.

The state-owned Chinese oil explorer surrendered operating control of those assets to quell U.S. national security concerns, said two people familiar with the agreement who asked not to be named because the terms aren’t public.

FInancial Post

Reuters has reported that CNOOC is considering an exit from its operations in the US, Canada, and the UK because of sanctions concerns. JPMorgan is reportedly assisting with the sale of the US assets.

Stampede TLP

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Shell Vito

Last year, BOE featured 5 deepwater platforms that were under construction: Shell’s Vito and Whale, Murphy’s King’s Quay, bp’s Argos, and Chevron’s Anchor. These floating production units are noteworthy for their lighter, smaller designs. King’s Quay was the first to produce, beginning last April. The spotlight is now on Vito which began producing today. Vito’s peak production should reach 100,000 boe. The other 3 platforms are expected to begin production this year or next.

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The Honor Roll companies for 2022 (listed alphabetically) are Anadarko (Oxy), bp, Cantium, Chevron, Contango, Hess, LLOG, Murphy, and Shell.

Our criteria:

  • Must average <0.3 incidents of noncompliance (INCs) per facility-inspection.
  • Must average <0.1 INCs per inspection-type. (Note that each facility-inspection may include multiple types of inspections (e.g. production, pipeline, pollution, Coast Guard, site security, etc). On average, each facility-inspection included 3.25 types of inspections in 2022. Here is a list of the types of inspections that may be performed.)
  • Must operate at least 3 production platforms and have drilled at least one well (i.e. you need operational activity to demonstrate compliance and safety achievement).
  • May not have a disqualifying event (e.g. fatal or life-threatening incident, significant fire, major oil spill). Due to the extreme lag in updates to BSEE’s incident tables, investigation and news reports are used to make this determination.
  • Pacific and Alaska operations will be considered separately.
oil (million bbls)gas (BCF)
2022 production through Oct.

Mid-Year 2022 review

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