Production starts from Independence Hub

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 20 -- Atwater Valley Producers Group reported that production has begun from the Independence Hub platform, which is moored in 8,000 ft of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 920, 123 miles southeast of Biloxi, Miss., in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gas production through the hub began July 19 from the Atlas-1 well in Atlas field on Lloyd Ridge Block 50. Atlas-1 is the first of 15 subsea wells in 10 anchor fields: Atlas, Atlas NW, Jubilee, Merganser, San Jacinto, Spiderman, Vortex, Mondo NW, Cheyenne, and Q.

Production from Atlas-1 is expected to ramp up to about 50 MMcfd over the next week. Most of the additional 14 wells, which on test demonstrated flow rates above 50 MMcfd, will be brought on stream one at a time during the remainder of this year. Production is expected to rise toward the hub's capacity of 1 bcfd of gas by yearend.

When operating at full capacity, the hub will process volumes of gas representing an increase of more than 10% in supplies from the gulf.

Independence Hub is thought to be the deepest production platform and largest offshore gas processing facility in the world (OGJ, Nov. 27, 2006, p. 43). It consists of a 105-ft, deep-draft, semisubmersible platform with a two-level production deck.

The platform is operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and is owned 80% by Enterprise Products Partners LP and 20% by Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. Anadarko has reserved about 61% of the capacity on the hub, Eni SPA 20%, Norsk Hydro AS 12.5%, and Devon Energy Corp. 6.5%.

Also included in the project is the 1 bcfd Independence Trail pipeline, which Enterprise owns and operates. The 134-mile, 24-in. pipeline connects the hub to onshore via an interconnection with the Tennessee Gas Pipeline at Enterprise's West Delta Block 68 shallow-water platform manifold.

Atwater consists of Anadarko, Devon, Eni, and Hydro, along with the owners of the Independence Hub—Enterprise and Helix.

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