Gulf of Mexico

Nov. 1, 2001
El Paso Energy Partners will provide pipeline services for TotalFinaElf's Matterhorn project in Mississippi Canyon 243 in 850 meters water depth.

Pipeline set for Matterhorn gas

El Paso Energy Partners will provide pipeline services for TotalFinaElf's Matterhorn project in Mississippi Canyon 243 in 850 meters water depth. The field's natural gas production will be delivered to El Paso's 125-mile, 20-in. diameter Viosca Knoll Gathering System (VKGS) at Mississippi Canyon 64 via TFE's 10-in. pipeline. Development began on the Matterhorn project in July. Due onstream in 3Q 2003, the field will produce 40,000 boe/d by year-end. Operator TFE has 100% interest in the field. The gas will combine in the VKGS with some of TFE's natural gas from the Camden Hills in Mississippi Canyon 348 and Aconcagua in Mississippi Canyon 305 discoveries, via the TFE-operated Canyon Express project. First production from Camden Hills and Aconcagua is expected next summer.

In related news, RTI International Metals said Atlantia Offshore chose subsidiary RTI Energy Systems for engineering, procurement, and manufacturing of the US$6 million production riser system for the Matterhorn project in the Gulf of Mexico. The project will use RTI's high fatigue performance RTI SD connectors.

Nexen buys up Vermilion leases

Nexen bought into four leases in Vermilion 76 for $39.7 million. Nexen will have a 100% interest in the leases and will be the operator. Vermilion 76, in 35 ft water depth, is about 70 miles southwest of Lafayette, Louisiana. The interests Nexen is acquiring comprise 17,500 net acres and are producing 17 MMcf/d of natural gas and 90 b/d.

Nexen estimates the proved reserves of the leases to be 37.2 bcf of gas equivalent. Nexen President and CEO Charlie Fischer said, "Exploiting shallow water gulf coast assets is one of our strengths, and Vermilion block 76 field will be a core asset of our US operations."

Symphony begins Crazy Horse 3D

BP said it hired theCGG Symphony for high-resolution 3D work over BP's Crazy Horse discovery in Mississippi Canyon 882. The work is being done on a proprietary basis for BP and field partner ExxonMobil.

Bahama-to-America lines studied

Two El Paso Corp. subsidiaries will determine interest in pipelines transporting natural gas from El Paso Global LNG's terminal on Grand Bahama Island 37 miles to Florida, and regasified LNG from the LNG terminal to the boundary of the US exclusive economic zone, 88 miles away. The 24-in. pipelines from Grand Bahama Island to Florida will deliver up to 800 MMcf/d of natural gas and should be functional by summer 2004, El Paso said.

Baker gets Ship Shoal deal

Baker Energy will operate and maintain seven production platforms for Phillips Petroleum's Ship Shoal 149 field. The four-year contract is valued at US$9 million, plus performance and safety-based bonuses.

Resolute find

Spinnaker Exploration said its Resolute prospect on High Island 197 in 48 ft water depth found natural gas and condensate. The well found about 140 ft of hydrocarbons in the Miocene Robulus. Further drilling is planned in 4Q 2001. Engineering design is underway for a platform. Operator Spinnaker holds a 50% working interest, Continental Land & Fur holds 25%, and Westport Resources holds 25%.

Ladybug producing

ATP Oil & Gas Corp. said its deepwater Ladybug prospect at Garden Banks 409 is producing at 8,000 b/d and 6 MMcf/d. Ladybug, in 1,360 ft water depth, is the company's first deepwater subsea development project. Operator ATP and Unocal each hold a 50% working interest.

Manatee to use Bullwinkle as hub

Shell will develop Manatee as a two-well development in 1,940 ft water depth. The field in Green Canyon 155 will be tied back five miles to Shell's Angus subsea manifold in Green Canyon 113, which carries production 17 miles to Shell's Bullwinkle platform in Green Canyon 65 for processing.

The Manatee subsea production system is the fourth to use Bullwinkle as its processing hub, following Rocky in 1996, Troika in 1997, and Angus in 1999. Manatee contains estimated recoverable reserves of 12 million BOE. Production, to begin in 3Q 2002, is expected to reach peak production rates of 25,000 b/d. Operator Shell has 52%, and Devon Energy holds 48%.

$400 million set for Devils Tower

Williams Cos. said it will invest over US$400 million to develop the Devils Tower infrastructure. Field operator Dominion and partner Pioneer Natural Resources signed a deal with Williams for the firm to provide the infrastructure for the development in Mississippi Canyon 773 and to own the floating production facility and export pipelines, while the partners will make monthly payments to Williams.

The unit will produce up to 60,000 b/d. Devils Tower, an oil find with associated gas, is in 5,610 ft water depth. Williams will buy the field's associated gas from the partners. Coflexip Stena Offshore is handling the design, engineering, installation, and commissioning of two 18-in. export pipelines from the development to shallow water tie-ins at the shelf edge. TheCSO Deep Blue will install the pipelines in the second half 2002 with riser hookup in January 2003.

Buoyancy orders

Balmoral Group said it won two buoyancy contracts, valued at over US$20 million. Santa Fe has ordered two sets of 7,500 ft riser strings, becoming Balmoral's largest drilling riser buoyancy order of the year. These modules, destined for Santa Fe's 184 and 185 semisubmersible rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, will be fabricated at Balmoral's Houston facility.

East Breaks project nearly complete

Stolt Offshore said the shelf pipeline that will gather gas production from the proposed deepwaterBoomvang and Nansen spars for market delivery and processing is nearly complete. Derrick Lay Barge 801 began the project in late May. The vessel ramped up to more than 250 joints per day using Stolt's Saturnax automatic welding system, which Stolt said is a new technology for the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel laid 327 joints of 24-in. diameter pipe. Stolt received the contract from Williams in January and should complete the project in the shallow water portion of the Boomvang/Nansen Seahawk Gathering System trunkline.

The East Breaks pipeline project called for installing 58 miles of 24-in. diameter pipe from Brazos 538, in 97 ft water depth, and to Galveston A244 in 365 ft water depth. Stolt also performed riser tie-ins at the existing Brazos 538 platform and will tie-in the pipeline at the Galveston A244 location following platform installation. Stolt'sSeaway Defender dynamically positioned vessel is performing the tie-ins, with saturation diving to be employed at the Galveston A244 location.

Cajun Express off to South Titan

Transocean Sedco Forex won a 40-day contract for the firm's semisubmersible,Cajun Express. The Cajun Express is destined for Ocean Energy's South Titan prospect in 6,200 ft water depth, under a $6 million contract.

Weather service systems bought

CSO-Aker Marine Contracts of Houston bought two Nowcasting Pro weather service licenses for the company's Gulf of Mexico operations. One system will go to the Houston office with its sister system working on theDove, used for anchor handling and construction support. There are a dozen other Nowcasting Pro units operating in the Gulf, the company said.

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