Offshore/subsea systems

Shell Awards Worley FEED Support Contract for Sparta Project

Shell and Equinor are progressing the project toward a final investment decision, which is expected later this year.

Shell-s newest platform in the US Gulf of Mexico - Vito
Vito, Shell's newest platform in the US Gulf of Mexico
Hand-out/Shell Offshore Inc.

Shell has awarded Australian contractor Worley to provide services for its Sparta floating development located about 275 km off the Louisiana coast in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Under the contract, Worley will provide engineering, design, procurement support, construction, and commissioning support for the Sparta front-end engineering design (FEED), detailed design, and follow-on phases of the project.

According to Worley, the project incorporates its design for a lightweight floating production unit (FPU) previously deployed on two other Shell projects: Vito and Whale. Production at Vito successfully started in February, while construction is underway for Whale, the second FPU.

“We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Shell on this third floating production unit and deliver this repeatable solution for their Gulf of Mexico assets,” said Chris Ashton, chief executive of Worley.

The services will be executed by Worley offices in Houston and Metairie, Louisiana, with support from its global integrated delivery (GID) team in India, the company said.

The Sparta development is owned by Shell (51%) and Equinor (49%). Formerly known as North Platte, Sparta straddles four blocks of the Garden Banks area in approximately 1300 m of water depth.

Discovered in 2012 by Cobalt Energy and Total, the Wilcox-aged discovery requires 20K-psi technology to develop, according to the partners. Cobalt’s stake in the asset was sold to Equinor when the company went bankrupt in 2017. TotalEnergies in early 2022 walked away from the project, leaving Equinor with 100% interest.

Shell purchased 51% of Equinor’s interest in the North Platte deepwater development project and became the new operator of the field in August 2022. The partners agreed to rename North Platte to Sparta.

A final investment decision is expected later in 2023, according to Worley.