Production begins at Neptune facility

First oil and natural gas production has commenced from Neptune in deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- First oil and natural gas production has commenced from Neptune in deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Neptune is being developed with a TLP in Green Canyon block 613 in 4,250 ft (1,295 m) of water. The single-column TLP is designed to handle up to 50,000 b/d of oil and 50 MMcf/d of natural gas.

Field development includes six initial subsea wells tied back to the platform. Further development wells are expected to be drilled after interpretation of new seismic data, which will be obtained in 3Q 2008.

The facility recently underwent remediation to strengthen components inside the hull's pontoons.

BHP Billiton is the operator of Neptune, with 35% interest. Marathon Oil Corp. holds 30% interest, Woodside Petroleum Ltd. holds a 20%, and Maxus Exploration Co. holds 15%.

Neptune, 120 mi (195 km) off Louisiana, comprises five blocks: Atwater Valley 573, 574, 575, 617 and 618, where water depths range from 4,200 to 6,500 ft (1,275 to 2,000 m). Crude oil from Neptune is transported to markets via the Caesar pipeline, while natural gas is exported via the Cleopatra pipeline.

07/07/2008

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