Following its departure from Finland, the hull will travel by transport barge to Ingleside where it will be outfitted for offshore installation before beginning the journey to the deep sea and its final destination in block 857 of the Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell noted that the steel spar structure, which is reportedly as tall as the Eiffel Tower weighing as much as 10,000 family cars, forms part of the energy major’s deepwater offshore oil and gas development plan and is expected to be the world’s deepest spar production facility.

The Perdido spar will float on the surface in nearly 8,000ft of water and is capable of producing 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The spar will be secured in place by nine chain and polyester rope mooring lines, spanning an area of the seafloor roughly the size of downtown Houston.

On the seafloor, 22 wells, each extending more than 14,000ft from the surface and into the mud and rock beneath the Alaminos Canyon, will be linked to the Perdido spar above. Oil will be brought to the surface against the extreme pressure of the deepwater by 1,500HP electric pumps and gas will be separated on the sea floor and naturally rise to the production unit on the surface.

Perdido is scheduled to begin production towards the end of 2010. Shell, the 35% shareholder of the Perdido Regional Development Spar, is the operator on behalf of partners BP with 27.5% and Chevron with 37.5%.