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Neptune Deepwater Project Gets Green Light

The Neptune deepwater project has been given the green light by partners Marathon Oil (30%), BHP Billiton (35% and operator), Woodside Petroleum (20%) and Maxus (US) Exploration, a subsidiary of Repsol YPF with a 15% stake. The project is expected to produce 50,000 boe/d, including up to 50 MMcf/d of natural gas, starting in late 2007.

Neptune, which was discovered in 1995, is located on the Western Atwater Foldbelt in water depths that range from 4,200 feet to 6,500 feet about 120 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The field holds an estimated 100-150 million boe in proved and probable reserves.

The project will include a stand-alone, tension leg platform with seven initial subsea wells. It will be designed to produce up to 50,000 bbl/d of oil and 50 MMcf/d of natural gas, which will be transported via the existing Caesar and Cleopatra trunklines. Two new pipeline laterals are being constructed by Enbridge Offshore Pipelines LLC to link the project to the trunklines.

Enbridge said it expects to spend $100 million to construct and operate the two 23-mile pipeline laterals, one to transport crude and the other to transport natural gas. They will have a capacity to deliver more than 200 MMcf/d of gas and 50,000 bbl/d of oil. Neptune is relatively close to Enbridge's existing Green Canyon infrastructure.

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