Shell and Equinor are on the move with the next big oilfield project in the US Gulf

A heavyweight partnership of Shell and Equinor has made headway on their next big oil project in the US Gulf of Mexico by zeroing in on a development concept.

The Sparta — formerly North Platte — development has been on hold since February last year when former operator TotalEnergies unexpectedly exited the asset just days before it was due to award a contract to build a semi-submersible floating production vessel.

That left Equinor in the hot seat, holding 100% of the deep-water field, although Shell has bought a 51% operating stake.