BHP Billiton Petroleum announced on 7 June that it is the first company in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to bring a newly drilled well into production since the drilling moratorium was enacted in May 2010. The well was brought into production on 30 May 2011 on the BHP Billiton-operated Shenzi field.
The SB-201 well was drilled to a total measured depth of 25,126 ft and is producing approximately 17,000 bbl/day of oil. This is the 11th producing well within the Shenzi field.
BHP Billiton chief executive J. Michael Yeager said, “We are pleased to be able to demonstrate that deepwater drilling and production can resume in a safe and reliable manner. Our organization has worked very hard over the past several months with regulators to have the ability to resume drilling operations and add new production to our deepwater Gulf of Mexico portfolio.”
BHP Billiton also received approval and began drilling a second deepwater production well (SB-101) on the Shenzi field on 2 June 2011.
The Shenzi facility is located approximately 120 miles off of the Louisiana coastline and is installed in approximately 4,300 ft of water on Green Canyon Block 653, making it the second deepest tension-leg platform in the world. The overall field comprises four blocks: Green Canyon 609, 610, 653 and 654.