ExxonMobil starts Julia ultradeepwater gulf oil project

ExxonMobil Corp. will develop a field with nearly 6 billion bbl of resource in place more than 30,000 ft below the sea floor in more than 7,000 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico.

An initial development phase will result in production of 34,000 b/d of oil from Julia field starting in 2016. Capital cost for the project is estimated at more than $4 billion, ExxonMobil said.

Julia, in 2007 one of the first large oil discoveries in the gulf’s ultradeepwater frontier, comprises Blocks 584, 627, 628, 540, and 583 in the Walker Ridge planning area 265 miles southwest of New Orleans.

The Initial development phase includes six wells with subsea tiebacks to the Chevron Corp.-operated Jack and St. Malo production facility. Julia project front end engineering design has been completed and the engineering, procurement, and construction contracts have been placed.

Neil W. Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Co., said, “The development of Julia will provide a new source of domestic energy and well-paying jobs over the next several years. Access to resources such as Julia will contribute to US energy security for many years.”

Duffin added, “Enhanced technologies will be deployed to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible development of this important energy resource.”

ExxonMobil, the operator, and Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC each hold a 50% interest in the Julia unit.

ExxonMobil said it has drilled 36 deepwater wells in the gulf 4,000-8,700 ft of water in the past decade.

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