Vito deepwater oilfield is located 241km south-east of New Orleans, in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico, US, in 4,000ft of water depth.

The deepwater oilfield is jointly owned by Shell Offshore (63.11%) and Equinor (formerly Statoil, 36.89%), and operated by Shell Offshore.

The final investment decision (FID) for the project was announced in April 2018 and production is scheduled to commence in 2021.

Estimated to hold recoverable resources of 300 million barrels of oil-equivalent (Mboe), Vito is expected to produce up to 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boed) during peak production.

Vito oilfield geology, discovery and appraisal

Vito deepwater development sprawls over four blocks 940, 941, 984, and 985 in the Mississippi Canyon region of Gulf of Mexico. Its reservoir comprises thick and highly pressured subsalt formation of Miocene sands.

The oilfield was discovered by Anadarko in July 2009. The discovery well was drilled to a depth of 32,000ft by the Noble Amos Runner deepwater drilling rig and encountered 250ft of net oil pay.

Shell took over the operatorship of Vito oil field from Anadarko in September 2009 and started drilling additional wells to extend the discovery.

In March 2010, the appraisal well drilled in block-940, approximately 1.6km away from the discovery well, to a depth of approximately 31,000ft, encountered 600ft of net oil pay.

Six additional wells were drilled under Shell’s operatorship until March 2013, which confirmed the reservoir productivity for the Vito field development.

Vito oilfield development details

Vito is Shell’s latest deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico, after Appomattox, Kaikias and Coulomb Phase 2, which are currently under construction.

Vito oilfield was originally planned to be developed as a satellite field tied-back to the Appomattox development, but was later deemed to require its own production infrastructure owing to its size.

Vito oilfield development will comprise eight subsea wells drilled up to 18,000ft-deep and equipped with in-well gas lifts, and a four-column semi-submersible floating production unit (FPU) weighing 39,000t.

With its topsides weighing 9,200t,  the FPU will have the capacity to produce 100,000 boe of oil and 100 million standard cubic feet (Mscf) of gas a day.

Vito will be Shell’s 11th deepwater platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Contractors involved with Vito deepwater development

Jacobs Engineering was awarded the front-end engineering design (FEED) and detailed engineering contract for the topsides of the Vito FPU, in November 2016.

Sembcorp Marine’s subsidiary Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters received the contract to construct and integrate the hull, topsides and living quarters of the Vito FPU, in May 2018.

Vulcan SFM, a subsidiary of Sheffield Forgemasters, was awarded a contract to supply ten riser basket components, each weighing approximately 11.5t, for the Vito FPU, in December 2017.

Deep Down, a deepwater oil and gas distribution equipment manufacturer based in Houston, was contracted to supply and install the isolation valve system of the Vito FPU, in May 2018.

Jumbo Offshore was  awarded the Vito FPU installation contract involving the initial pre-lay of the mooring system and the subsequent tow and hook-up of the semi-submersible floating platform, in May 2018.

China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO Shipping) was awarded the contract, in June 2018, to transport the Vito FPU from Singapore to the Gulf of Mexico, using its biggest semi-submersible vessel carrier Xin Guang Hua.

Subsea 7 was awarded the engineering, procurement and installation contract for the flow lines, risers and umbilical system for the Vito offshore development, in June 2018.

CORTEC was contracted to supply multiple valve packages including the boarding shutdown valves , in February 2018.

Gate Energy was awarded the facility commissioning contract for the Vito deepwater project in June 2018.