For the first time in the industry's history, five independent exploration and production companies and a midstream energy company have come together to facilitate the development of multiple ultra-deepwater, natural gas discoveries in the previously untapped Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Independence Hub LLC, an affiliate of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and the Atwater Valley Producers Group, which includes Anadarko Petroleum Corp.; Dominion Exploration & Production Inc., a subsidiary of Dominion; Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp., a wholly owned affiliate of Kerr-McGee Corp.; Spinnaker Exploration Co., and Devon Energy Corp. have executed agreements for the dedication, processing, and gathering of natural gas and condensate production from six natural gas fields in the Atwater Valley, DeSoto Canyon, and Lloyd Ridge areas of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. As part of the transaction, the producers also have dedicated future production from a number of undeveloped blocks in the area for processing and gathering.
Enterprise will design, construct, install, and own Independence Hub, a 105-ft deep-draft, semisubmersible platform with a two-level production deck, which will be capable of processing 850 MMcf/d. Anadarko will operate the platform, which is estimated to cost approximately $385 million and is designed to process production from the six anchor fields and has excess payload capacity to tie-back up to 10 additional fields.
Independence Hub will be on Mississippi Canyon block 920, in a water depth of 8,000 ft. This location was selected for the permanently anchored host facility based on favorable seafloor conditions and proximity to the identified anchor fields. First production is expected in 2007.
Under the terms of the agreement, the development will include dedicated anchor fields, Atlas and Atlas NW (Lloyd Ridge blocks 5/49/50), Jubilee (Atwater Valley blocks 305/349 and Lloyd Ridge blocks 265/309), Merganser (Atwater Valley blocks 36/37), San Jacinto (DeSoto Canyon blocks 618/619), Spiderman (DeSoto Canyon blocks 620/621), and Vortex (Atwater Valley blocks 217/261 and Lloyd Ridge blocks 177/221), in addition to future discoveries on surrounding undeveloped blocks. The fields will be tied-back to the platform through producer-owned subsea flowline systems. The fields' water depths range from 7,800 to 9,000 ft.