Key facts

Location: Gulf of Mexico, USA

Depth: ~2,450 metres (8,000 feet)

Fields: Great White, Tobago, Silvertip

Host platform: Shell 35% (operator), Chevron 37.5%, BP 27.5%
Great White: Shell 33.34% (operator), BP 33.33%, Chevron 33.33%
Sivertip: Chevron 60% and Shell 40% (operator)
Tobago: Shell 32.5% (operator), Nexen 10%, Chevron 30%,Unocal 27.5%

Peak production: 100 kboe/d

Key contractors: Technip, Kiewit, FMC Technologies, Heerema Marine Contractors

First oil production: 2010


Perdido is moored in around 2,450 metres (8,000 feet) of water, making it the world’s deepest spar. The spar acts as a production hub for three fields – Great White, Tobago and Silvertip. It gathers, processes and exports oil and gas produced from water depths of around 2,300-2,800 metres (7,500-9,500 feet). The Perdido production hub has the capacity to handle 100,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of gas daily.

Environment and society

Social and environmental responsibility is a central pillar of Shell’s operations. Shell’s Gulf of Mexico operations have a long association with the city of New Orleans, and this is reflected in the contribution the company made to many recovery programmes after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Shell Coming Home campaign and sponsorship of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival – a key event in the city’s on-going recovery – helped build confidence in the city’s future. Shell is also involved in projects such as wetlands restoration on the Texas/ Louisiana coast.


The Perdido spar was constructed by Technip in Pori, Finland. It began its 13,200-kilometre (8,202-mile) journey to Texas, USA, in May 2008, reaching the Gulf of Mexico in August 2008. Once the 170-metre (555-feet) cylindrical spar was moored securely to the sea floor, The Perdido spar’s hull is nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and weighs as much as 10,000 large cars. Shell built a drilling and production platform on top of it. 

There are 22 direct vertical access wells from the spar, with capability to handle additional oil and gas production from successful near-field exploration.

The Tobago field, which started production in late 2011, set a world water depth record in drilling and completing a subsea well 2,934 metres (9,626 feet) below the water’s surface. This eclipsed the previous subsea water depth well record of 2,852 metres (9,356 feet), which Shell set at the Silvertip field.

Deep-water milestones




More in about us

You may also be interested in

Deep water

Vast resources of oil and gas lie deep beneath the ocean’s surface. They have the potential to support economic growth and help meet the world’s growing energy needs.

Technical careers

Human solutions to global challenges: find out how you can develop your career in our technical teams.