The initial development was designed to recover about 500 million barrels of oil equivalent. The development for the initial project phase is approximately $1.0 billion. About 55% of the project costs were spent on the fabrication and installation of the hull, deck, facilities and pipelines. The other 45% of the project costs are to be spent on drilling and completion of the wells. Ten of the tension leg platform (TLP) development wells were predrilled using Sonat’s semisubmersible George Richardson. The remaining wells will be drilled with H&P 201 (a contract rig) installed on the TLP. The current daily production from Mars (the largest Gulf of Mexico discovery in more than 25 years) is averaging about 21,000 barrels of oil and 25 million ft³ of natural gas. Oil is transported 116 miles to the shore in the $135 million Mars Pipeline system, which initially is capable of handling 250,000 barrels of oil per day, with expansion plans of up to 500,000 barrels per day. The Mars Pipeline system consists of an 18in line, extending from the TLP, about 40 miles to West Delta block 143, where it connects with a 24in line that comes ashore 55 miles away in Fourchon, South Louisiana. From there, the line parallels the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) pipeline about 29 miles to LOOP’s Clovelly storage facilities, where the oil will go into a dedicated 3 million barrel salt dome cavern, which can feed any of five major interconnecting pipelines serving the national refining market.
Mars, Gulf of Mexico, Shell, America(North),