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Planet Ark: Shell world record wells pump gas from 2 miles deep


UK: July 1, 2004


LONDON - A pair of offshore wells pumped their first gas last week from record-breaking depths more than two miles (3.2 km) below the waves, operating company Royal Dutch/Shell (RD.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) (SHEL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said yesterday.


Shell said the twin Coulomb wells in the Gulf of Mexico would eventually produce more than 100 million cubic feet of gas a day to help feed the United States' daily diet of 61 billion cubic feet.


Coulomb C-3, the deepest of the pair by just five feet at 7,570 feet, or 2.307 miles, is owned two thirds by Shell and one third by Petrobras (PER.BA: Quote, Profile, Research) , the state owned Brazilian firm. Its twin, C-2, 100 percent owned by Shell, started producing on July 23, and is already pumping 65 million cubic feet a day.


"These wells represent key industry and Shell firsts," said Guardie Banister, Shell's technical director for the Americas region.


Producers are going after oil and gas in deeper water and in increasingly remote and hostile environments worldwide, as the output of their traditional hunting grounds peaks and world demand continues to grow.


Deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of West Africa are already taking the place of maturing fields in shallower offshore waters.  




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