Shell Begins Production at Vito

The deepwater US Gulf of Mexico is the template for Shell's Whale development due online in 2024.

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

Shell has successfully turned the taps on its Vito floating production facility in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico (GOM). With an estimated peak production of 100,000 BOED, Vito is the company’s first deepwater platform in the GOM to employa simplified, cost-efficient host design.

Originally discovered in 2009, the Vito field spans four Outer Continental Shelf blocks in the Mississippi Canyon and is located at a depth of more than 4,000 ft of water. The host is located approximately 150 miles southeast of New Orleans and 10 miles south of the Shell-operated Mars TLP.

Shell announced a final investment decision on the project in April 2018.

The Vito host is a four-column semisubmersible facility with eight subsea wells (31,000 ft) with deep (18,000-ft) in-well, gas lift, and associated subsea flowlines and equipment. The field is estimated to hold around 290 million BOE.

“Vito is an excellent example of how we are approaching our projects to meet the energy demands of today and tomorrow, while remaining resilient as we work toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050," said Zoe Yujnovich, Shell’s upstream director. “Building on more than 40 years of deepwater expertise, projects like Vito enable us to generate greater value from the GOM, where our production has amongst the lowest greenhouse gas intensity in the world for producing oil."

Vito is owned and operated by Shell (63.11%) with partner Equinor holding the remaining stake (36.89%). In 2015, the original host design was rescoped and simplified, resulting in a reduction of around 80% in CO2 emissions over the lifetime of the facility as well as a cost reduction of more than 70% from the original host concept.

Vito also serves as the design standard for the company’s Whale project that will feature a 99% replication of the Vito hull and 80% of Vito’s topsides. Shell reached an FID on Whale in 2021 and is currently scheduled to begin production in 2024.