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Hess proceeds with Tubular Bells field development in gulf

Hess Corp. plans to proceed with the $2.3 billion Tubular Bells deepwater oil and gas project in the Gulf of Mexico. Discovered in 2003, Tubular Bells lies in 4,300-4,600 ft of water, about 135 miles southeast of New Orleans on Mississippi Canyon Block 726.

The company's plan initially calls for three subsea production wells and two water injection wells from two subsea drill centers tied back to Williams Partners owned Gulfstar floating production spar (FPS).

Hess expects drilling to begin in 2012 and initial production to start in 2014, subject to receiving government permits.

The company estimates that the field will have a peak production of 40,000-45,000 boe/day. The field holds more than 120 million boe of reserves, according to Hess.

Williams Partners LP signed multiple agreements with Hess and Chevron USA Corp. to provide production handling, export pipeline, oil and gas gathering, and gas processing services for Tubular Bells.

Williams Partners expects the Gulfstar FPS also to serve as a central host facility for other deepwater prospects in the area. It will design, construct, and install the FPS, which will have a capacity to handle 60,000 bo/d and 200 MMcfd of gas as well as to provide seawater injection services.

The FPS has a traditional three-level topsides mated to a classic spar hull.

From sanctioning the project to completion, Williams Partners expects to deliver the FPS in 30 months.

Williams Partners said the FPS will be the first spar-based floating production system with major components to be built entirely on the Gulf Coast.

It will fabricate the hull at Aransas Pass, Tex. and the topsides in Houma, La.

Hess is the operator of Tubular Bells and holds a 57.14% interest in the field with the remaining 42.86% interest held by Chevron USA Inc.


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