Inspectors from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) have concluded a three-day pre-production inspection on Vito, Shell’s new 40,000 tonne semi-submersible rig. The facility is expected to enter service soon in the Gulf of Mexico.

BSEE conducted a pre-production inspection of the Shell Vito platform at Kiewit Shipyard in Ingleside, Texas, May 10-12, 2022.

The pre-production inspection team verifies that all safety equipment, components, and production processes aboard the structure were built as planned, meet industry standards, and comply with federal regulations. BSEE’s on-site inspection is one of the steps needed to clear the rig to sail to its intended destination in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 150 miles south of New Orleans, where it will be installed at a water depth of about 4,000 feet.

The inspection was conducted by a team of 10 inspectors and engineers divided into two units, each inspecting different areas of the facility simultaneously for three consecutive days.

“These regulatory inspections are critical to ensuring the rig meets all applicable safety rules, environmental compliance requirements, and relevant regulations and practices,” said Anthony Pizza, head of the production operations section of the office of New Orleans District, Gulf of Mexico Regional Office. “Any discrepancies found will be addressed by Shell before operations begin.”

According to Shell, the Vito platform is expected to enter production in late 2022 or early 2023 and produce up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

Vito is a Shell-operated deepwater development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico sanctioned in April 2018. It is located in four blocks in the Mississippi Canyon region of the Gulf of Mexico and will be developed with eight deep subsea wells (18 000 feet) in -well gas lift. Sembcorp Marine was selected to build and integrate the hull, superstructures and living quarters of the Vito semi-submersible unit in May 2018.

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