Shell Senior VP Presents to SCIA Members
At the December SCIA General Membership luncheon, Colette Hirstius, Senior Vice President for the Gulf of Mexico for Shell presented a little history and some future plans to the membership.
Hirstius, who grew up in New Orleans with family ties to Thibodaux, drew parallels to the bayou region for both she and Shell. She noted that the deepwater business was built on the bayou at the old McDermott site in Amelia over 40 years ago with the delivery of Cognac, the world’s first offshore structure in water deeper than 1,000 feet.
Regarding Shell’s present, their logistics hub in Port Fourchon at C-Port 2 services all of their Gulf of Mexico operations. This year alone, they transited roughly 1 million tons of cargo to the offshore assets through Port Fourchon. This took over 1,575 vessel trips and nearly 30,000 truck trips to stage the cargo to support their offshore assets and people.
In 2020, they consolidated all of their aviation operations in Louisiana to Houma and now fly the vast majority of their offshore personnel through their aviation partner, PHI, who flies on average 5,600 people to and from offshore each month!
Each day roughly 2,000 people work on Shell’s assets offshore in the Gulf. And that’s just their Deepwater business! They also have two manufacturing plants, a catalyst facility, retail stations and a pipelines business that connects all of these businesses and the thousands of people who work for Shell across our Working Coast.
Currently, Shell is producing well over 300,000 barrels of oil and gas per day in the Gulf, which accounts for 1 in every 5 barrels of oil and gas produced by Shell across the globe. “Our low carbon footprint will make these barrels the most attractive and most important in our global portfolio so that we can meet our net zero ambition by 2050, in line with society and governments’’ shared goals for transition to a net zero economy,” Hirstius proudly explained. Globally, Shell’s purpose toward that future is to “Power Progress Together by producing more and cleaner energy.”
Shell group invests approximately $3 billion annually into operations and even more on new project development. Hirstius went on to discuss some developments with Whale, Vito, Leopard, Powernap and King Embayment. Highlighting Vito, she explained that it is located in more than 4,000 feet of water, about 75 miles south of Venice and it was designed in 2009. Well into the project, oil prices started dropping and it became clear that the design wasn’t compatible with the future of drilling. After re-scoping the entire project, the Vito team reimagined the project, resulting in 70% lower costs. Hirstius said, “Vito shows that we can make the possible, affordable and it speaks to one of our core beliefts: simpler is safer.”
Hirstius said, “Our business is more than just the work that has gone on offshore. We work under the premise that the investment they make in this region should help uplift communities and transform lives so we can preserve and protect the unique culture and communities along Louisiana’s Working Coast.” Since August 29th, Shell has pledged over $1,000,000 in response assistance through local non profits.” Each year, Shell invests nearly $1,000 dollars in more than twenty-five local non-profit organizations to improve educational opportunities for those in need.
Hirstius thanked SCIA for the work we do every day to be a voice for our energy industry, and our working coast.