Kerr-McGee has ramped up development of its Constitution field in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), which is estimated to have proven and probable reserves of about 110 MMboe. First production is expected by mid-2006, with peak production expected to reach 40,000 bbl/d and 75 MMcf/d in 2007.

The Constitution field is located in 5,000 feet of water at Green Canyon blocks 679 and 680, and total project costs for the wholly owned project, including $125 million spent to date on leases and drilling, will be $600 million.

“Constitution is the next milestone in our successful deepwater exploration and development program,” said CEO Luke R. Corbett. “A stand-alone facility at Constitution enables us to dramatically accelerate the development timetable for this significant field.” Corbett said the spar would create Kerr-McGee’s sixth deepwater hub.

Perhaps in response to Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s recategorization of its reserves last week (see Daily GPI, Jan. 12), Kerr-McGee reassured analysts and investors by noting in a statement that Constitution’s estimated reserves had been substantiated by third-party tests and extensive engineering. The company said, “The Constitution field was confirmed by 11 penetrations into predominantly oil-bearing sands in seven hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs. These high-quality reservoirs have an average porosity of 28%, permeability of approximately 800 millidarcies and oil gravity of approximately 32 degrees API. The Pliocene reservoirs are located at depths from 12,500 feet to 15,000 feet.”

Dave Hager, senior vice president for oil and gas exploration and production, said that the “extensive appraisal program and evaluation process, combined with our deepwater Gulf of Mexico experience, reinforce our resource estimates and provide a strong foundation for the productivity of this field.” He added that Ryder Scott had reviewed the geoscience and engineering data and “verified our approach to the assessment of the reserves for Constitution.”

The Constitution field will be developed with a truss spar similar in design to Kerr-McGee’s previous three truss spars at the Nansen, Boomvang and Gunnison GOM fields. The Constitution spar will have capacity to process 40,000 bbl/d and 200 MMcf/d. The hull will be 98 feet in diameter and approximately 550 feet long. It will be built by Technip at its Pori, Finland yard, where the hulls for Kerr-McGee’s Neptune, Nansen, Boomvang and Gunnison spars were fabricated.

The development plan for the Constitution field includes five dry trees and one subsea tieback. Well bores from previously drilled appraisal wells will be used as part of the final development plan.

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