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Kerr-McGee: First Deepwater Constitution Well Ramps Up

The initial field in Kerr-McGee Corp.'s 100%-owned Constitution field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico last week ramped up to a production rate of 15,000 bbl/d of oil and 12 MMcf/d of gas. Located in Green Canyon blocks 679 and 680 in 5,000 feet of water, the field has estimated resources of about 110 MMboe.

Kerr-McGee is developing the field with six dry-tree wells, which are processed through the Constitution truss spar floating production facility located in Green Canyon block 680. Kerr-McGee expects to reach peak production volumes of about 40,000 bbl/d and 75 MMcf/d from all six dry-tree wells by the end of the year.

"The efficient development of this deepwater field is a tremendous achievement by our employees and contractors," said COO David A. Hager. "The project team was able to bring production on stream safely, cost effectively and ahead of schedule, maintaining the momentum gained with early startup of the nearby Ticonderoga field. What makes this even more extraordinary is the fact that it was accomplished in an environment that had strong loop currents and the most active hurricane season ever recorded."

The Constitution truss spar was expanded during fabrication to accommodate additional production from the nearby Ticonderoga field, which was discovered after Constitution was sanctioned. The spar currently has processing capacity of 70,000 bbl/d and 200 MMcf/d. Kerr-McGee began production from two subsea wells in the Ticonderoga field in February, and that field currently is producing at a peak rate of 22,000 bbl/d and 19 MMcf/d (see NGI, Feb. 27). Kerr-McGee is the operator and 50% stakeholder; Noble Energy owns the remaining 50%.

In related news, Kerr-McGee on Friday announced it has completed the separation of its chemicals unit, Tronox Inc.

"With the completion of the separation of Tronox, Kerr-McGee is now a pure-play oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) company," said CEO Luke R. Corbett. "We already are executing our strategic plan as a pure-play E&P company with the right assets that provide a foundation of opportunities to continue delivering consistent, repeatable growth for our stockholders.

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