In August 2014 Shell discovered a new oil and gas reservoir at the Kaikias field, a field located in the prolific Mars-Ursa basin in the US Gulf of Mexico, approximately 210 kilometres (130 miles) from the Louisiana coast. The field is estimated to contain more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent recoverable resource.
In February 2017 Shell announced the final investment decision to execute phase one of the Kaikias deep-water project using a sub-sea tieback design. Three wells, which are designed to produce up to 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day at peak rates, will pump oil and gas that will then be taken to the nearby Ursa production hub using a single flowline.
Since taking the final investment decision in early 2017 Shell has managed to reduce costs on the Kaikias project by around 30%. By simplifying the well design and taking advantage of existing oil and gas processing equipment on Ursa, Shell minimised the need for additional top-side modifications. This lowered the forward-looking, break-even price to less than $30 per barrel of oil, down from a previously expected $40 per barrel.
In May 2018 Shell announced the early start of production – around one-year ahead of schedule – at the first phase of Kaikias.