Field/project development

Shell Chooses Gate for Whale Commissioning Work

Service company was previously awarded a similar scope of work related to Shell's Vito project in the US Gulf.


Shell has tapped Gate Energy to provide commissioning services for the oil major’s Whale development in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The operator formally sanctioned the semisubmersible-based project just last month. The award to Gate comes on the heels of the contractor receiving a similar commissioning services contract for Shell’s Vito facility, another GOM project currently underway.

The associated scope includes commissioning planning, onshore commissioning execution, and offshore commissioning/ready-for-startup services. The Whale semisubmersible host features a 99% replicated hull and an 80% replication of the topsides from its ongoing Vito project, according to the operator.

“The Whale award exemplifies Gate’s commissioning as industry-leading and solidifies our expertise and commitment to our clients,” said Mark Myhre, president of commissioning at Gate. “This will be Gate’s second opportunity to execute commissioning of the ‘design one, build two’ project model.”

The Whale field is located in Alaminos Canyon Block 773 beneath more than 8,000 ft of water, adjacent to the Shell-operated Silvertip field and about 10 miles from the Shell-operated Perdido platform. Whale is expected to reach peak production of around 100,000 BOE/D and currently has an estimated, recoverable resource volume of 490 million BOE. The project is currently scheduled to begin production in 2024.

“The Whale project award shows Shell's commitment to Gate in the processes that we have developed to deliver world-class projects for our clients,” said Grant Gibson, founder and chief executive of Gate. “Gate will be commissioning 3 of the 4 mega projects in the Gulf of Mexico over the next year, and with offices in multiple US locations, Singapore, and South Korea, are perfectly poised to continue the growth and expansion over the next decade.”

The Whale development is owned by Shell Offshore Inc. (60%, operator) and Chevron (40%).