An FPSO design was chosen to produce oil and gas safely and efficiently from the Stones ultra deep-water field. Tankers transport oil from Turitella to US refineries, while a pipeline transports gas.
Stones uses a special type of flexible pipe, known as a steel lazy wave riser, to carry oil and gas to Turritella for processing. Shell pioneered steel lazy wave risers, which have additional buoyancy creating an arched bend in the pipes between the seafloor and the surface. This bend helps to absorb the motion of the FPSO and boosts production performance at extreme depths.
The FPSO features a turret, into which fits a disconnectable buoy carrying mooring lines and risers from the well system. The turret and buoy design allows the vessel to turn with the wind during normal weather conditions. If a heavy storm or hurricane approaches, the vessel is able to disconnect from the buoy and sail to safer waters.The Stones project represents the first use of a disconnectable buoy configured with steel lazy wave risers to unlock resources of oil in ultra-deep waters.
Shell has more than a dozen deep-water FPSOs around the world. Turritella is the first FPSO we are using in the Gulf of Mexico.
Environment and society
Shell prioritises social and environmental responsibility. Our Gulf of Mexico operations are closely tied to Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. Following Hurricane Katrina we contributed to several recovery programmes. Shell is also involved in projects to protect the Louisiana coast and restore wetlands.
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