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Perdido only recently reached its monthly production target after a year of operation because of difficulties getting oil and gas from the seabed to the platform. New devices designed to separate oil and gas on the sea floor have not performed as well as Shell hoped. It has taken months of adjustments made by underwater robots and other equipment on the platform to fix the problems.
Challenges like this have helped push the average cost of producing oil in the deepwater Gulf to $60 a barrel, according to IHS CERA, near the highest level ever. But with oil close to $100 a barrel, the expense is well worth it.
After all 35 wells are drilled for Perdido, its owners will likely have spent $6.2 billion on the project, according to Wood Mackenzie. But along with the risks, the Gulf offers great rewards: Perdido could ultimately generate $39 billion in revenue and $16 billion in profits.
Jonathan Fahey can be reached at http://www.facebook.com/Fahey.Jonathan .
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