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Royal Dutch Shell has commenced production from the Mars B development through its deep-water platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell claims that it is the first deep-water project in the Gulf to expand an existing oil and gas field with significant new infrastructure.

The deep-water platform drilling rig Olympus sits in approximately 945m of water.

Additional development drilling with the help of Olympus platform drilling rig and a floating drill rig will enable an estimated peak of 100,000 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day in 2016.

Combined future production from the company’s seventh, and largest, floating deep-water platform Olympus and the original Mars platform is expected to deliver an estimated resource base of one billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Shell Upstream Americas deep-water executive vice-president John Hollowell said: "With two large platforms now producing from the deep-water Mars field, this project demonstrates our deep-water project delivery and leadership.

"The deep-water platform drilling rig Olympus sits in approximately 945m of water."

"We safely completed construction and installation of the Olympus platform more than six months ahead of schedule, allowing us to begin production early from the development’s first well."

The Shell Mars B development in which Shell owns 71.5% and operator BP controls 28.5% includes subsea wells at the West Boreas and South Deimos fields.

In addition to the Olympus drilling and production platform, the development also includes export pipelines, and a shallow-water platform, located at West Delta 143, near the Louisiana coast.

In 2013, the Mars field produced an average exceeding 60,000boe per day.

Work on the 50,000boe per day Cardamom project in the Gulf of Mexico continues towards a production date in 2014, and work is in progress on the 50,000boe per day deep-water Stones development following the final investment decision in May 2013.

Image: Shell owns 71.5% in Mars B development. Photo: courtesy of Royal Dutch Shell plc.