Key facts

Location: Gulf of Mexico, USA

Water depth: 830 metres (2,720 feet)

Interests: Shell 100%

Field: Cardamom

Design capacity: 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d)

Project development

The Cardamom reservoir is located about 360 kilometres (220 miles) south-west of New Orleans, Louisiana. It sits beneath thick layers of salt in rock more than six kilometres (19,000 feet) below the sea floor. For a long time, it had remained undetected by conventional seismic surveys.  In 2010 using advanced seismic technology, Shell geologists identified the hidden reservoirs. The company took the final investment decision to develop the Cardamom field in June 2011.

Cardamom is a subsea system connected to the Auger production hub which is in water more than 800 metres (2,600 feet) deep also south-west of New Orleans. It features five wells that are designed to safely produce up to 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) each day.

Shell’s Auger production hub pioneered deep water oil and gas production. Since first production at Auger in 1994, the production hub has been upgraded several times to process additional production from new discoveries. Cardamom is Auger’s seventh, and largest, subsea development.

Society and environment

For decades, the US Gulf of Mexico has been a heartland of energy production. Thousands of Shell employees and contractors work each day to safely find, develop and produce the Gulf of Mexico’s vast oil and gas resources to help power our lives. Safety is crucial to this work. Across all of Shell’s operations, we strive to achieve what we call Goal Zero – no harm to people or the environment.

Shell has been a part of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast for more than 100 years. We are committed to helping shape a positive future for the region through our business activities, social investment programs and employee volunteer work. We partner with many non-profit organisations to support conservation, education in science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) and economic development projects across the Gulf Coast. Our employees also spend thousands of hours volunteering each year to help rebuild damaged homes, protect and restore Louisiana’s coast, and inspire the state’s next generation of scientists, engineers and leaders.

Deep-water milestones

Auger: from deep-water pioneer to new energy giant

Discover the legendary platform in the Gulf of Mexico and the oil field that’s reinventing it – a success story unlike any other in deep water.

Learn more about the Auger platform

More in Major Projects

Mars B

Shell’s Mars B development is the first deep-water project in the US Gulf of Mexico to expand an existing offshore oil and gas field by adding new infrastructure.


Stones, in the US Gulf of Mexico, is the world’s deepest oil and gas project, operating in around 2,900 metres of water.

You may also be Interested In

Working with local businesses to develop America’s energy resources

Working with local businesses to develop America’s energy resources

Deep water

Shell has a long history of developing energy projects using its knowledge, experience and proven deep-water technologies to unlock new resources safely and efficiently. Read more about Shell’s deep-water work around the world.

The role technology plays

Our researchers, scientists and engineers research, develop and deploy technologies that help Shell to provide more and cleaner energy in a changing energy system.

Technical careers

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