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Anadarko, ExxonMobil to Jointly Develop Lucius Prospect

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., ExxonMobil Corp. and their partners have finalized a unitization agreement to jointly develop a portion of the prospective Lucius field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

Unitizing jointly coordinates separate discoveries. The agreement covers portions of Keathley Canyon (KC) in blocks 874, 875, 918 and 919.

"As a result of these agreements, we expect Lucius to be among the most economically efficient projects in our portfolio, while providing important infrastructure in an emerging area of the Gulf of Mexico," said Anadarko COO Al Walker. "We've already placed orders for the long-lead items, including the truss spar floating production facility, which will have a capacity of more than 80,000 b/d and 450 MMcf/d of natural gas."

The project is expected to be sanctioned later this year with first production in 2014.

Anadarko and ExxonMobil last month indicated that they were considering how to unitize the KC blocks (see Daily GPI, June 22). ExxonMobil has three new discoveries in KC, including the Hadrian North prospect, which builds on its Hadrian South discovery (see Daily GPI, June 9). The supermajor operates and has a half-interest in KC 918 and KC 919. Petrobras America Inc. holds the remaining stake in KC 918. Eni Petroleum US LLC and Petrobras each hold a one-quarter stake in KC 919.

Anadarko's Lucius discovery, which was made in late 2009, is in KC 875 (see Daily GPI, Dec. 11, 2009). The producer holds a 50% stake in the block; Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP) and Apache Corp. also are stakeholders in Lucius.

Under the unitization agreement Anadarko would be operator with a 35% stake and ExxonMobil would have a 15% interest. Other co-owners are PXP (23.3%), Apache Corp. subsidiary Apache Deepwater LLC (11.7%), Petrobras (9.6%) and Eni (5.4%).

In addition to the unitization agreement the stakeholders agreed to process natural gas at the Lucius deepwater facility for the Hadrian South co-venturers, Anadarko said. In exchange they would receive a production handling fee and be reimbursed for required facility upgrades.

An extended well test at the Lucius discovery "provided assurance regarding the flow rates and excellent reservoir characteristics of the field," Anadarko said. "With equipment-constrained rates in excess of 15,000 b/d of high-quality oil..., the test provided additional confidence in Anadarko's previous resource estimates and indicated that Lucius can be developed with a minimal number of wells."

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