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SHELL OIL ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR MARS DEEP WATER GULF OF MEXICO OIL AND GAS FIELD

 HOUSTON, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Shell Oil Company today announced plans to develop the largest Gulf of Mexico oil and gas discovery in the past 20 years. Shell's discovery, called Mars, has an estimated ultimate recovery in excess of 700 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent. Shell, operator of the project, has a 71.5 percent interest and BP Exploration has the remaining 28.5 percent.
 About $1.2 billion will be spent for the first phase of development, designed for an ultimate recovery estimated at 500 million barrels.
 "The development of Mars is a significant step for Shell and the industry," said Philip J. Carroll, Shell Oil Company president and chief executive officer. "We have designed a development plan that works within today's tough economic environment and meets the technical challenges posed by the deep water. We hope it points the way to further realization of this region's tremendous oil and gas potential."
 Plans for the first phase call for installation of a tension leg platform (TLP) on Mississippi Canyon Block 807, about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans. Production should begin in late 1996 and is expected to reach a peak daily rate of about 100,000 barrels of oil and 110 million cubic feed of natural gas.
 "We will operate the first phase of the Mars field for two to three years, and then make a decision on further development, possibly utilizing another TLP or subsea wells tied back to the original TLP," said Jack E. Little, Shell Oil Company executive vice president of Exploration and Production.
 Installation of the Mars TLP in a water depth of 2,933 feet will establish a depth record for a permanent drilling and production platform in the Gulf of Mexico. It will surpass the record of Shell's Auger TLP, which will be installed in 2,860 feet of water later this year.
 The Mars discovery well was drilled in 1989 on Mississippi Canyon Block 763. Four other wells and six sidetrack wells were drilled to evaluate the discovery.
 -0- 10/05/93
 /CONTACT: Kitty Borah or Dee Dee Taylor, in Houston, 713-241-4544, or Mike Sternesky, in New York, 212-632-4888, all of Shell Oil Company/
 (SC RD)


CO: Shell Oil Company ST: Texas, Louisiana IN: OIL SU:

LG -- NY033 -- 8800 10/05/93 10:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 5, 1993
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