Shell Starts Production at Kaikias at $30 Break-Even Price

Graphic schematic of Kaikias in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Royal Dutch Shell has kicked off production at its deepwater Kaikias development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico at a break-even price of less than $30 per barrel.

Shell Offshore, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, announced Thursday the early start of production at the first phase of Kaikias, which has an estimated peak production of 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), around one-year ahead of schedule.

Shell says it has reduced costs by around 30% at this deep-water project since taking the investment decision in early 2017, lowering the forward-looking, break-even price to less than $30 per barrel of oil.

“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. “In addition to accelerating production for Kaikias, we reduced costs with a simplified well design and the incorporation of existing subsea and processing equipment.”

Kaikias is located in the prolific Mars-Ursa basin around 130 miles (210 kilometres) from the Louisiana coast and is owned by Shell (80% working interest), as operator, and MOEX North America LLC (20% working interest), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd.

The Kaikias development, located in around 4,500 feet (1,372 metres) of water, sends production from its four wells to the Shell-operated (45%) Ursa hub, which is co-owned by BP (23%), Exxon Mobil (16%), and ConocoPhillips (16%). From the Ursa hub, volumes ultimately flow into the Mars oil pipeline.

In the first quarter of 2018, Shell deep water produced around 731,000 boe/d, globally.