Texaco begins production from Petronius project

Texaco Inc. has begun commercial production of oil and natural gas at the Petronius project in the Gulf of Mexico. Installation of the Petronius platform, 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, was completed in early May (OGJ Online, May 5, 2000). The project was once expected to be on stream in early 1999, but a module was lost overboard in late 1998 and had to be rebuilt.


Texaco Inc. has begun commercial production of oil and natural gas at the Petronius project in the Gulf of Mexico. Installation of the Petronius platform, 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, was completed in early May (OGJ Online, May 5, 2000).

The project was once expected to be on stream in early 1999, but a module was lost overboard in late 1998 and had to be rebuilt.

Current production from two wells is 8,700 b/d of oil and 6 MMcfd of gas. An additional three predrilled wells will be brought on production over the next 3 months, leading to production rates of 40,000 b/d of oil and 35 MMcfd of gas by October.

Additional wells will be drilled and brought on line through the remainder of 2000 and 2001, says Texaco. Output is expected to peak at 50,000 b/d of oil and 70 MMcfd of gas.

Texaco and its partner, Marathon Oil Co., each hold a 50% working interest in the project. Texaco is operator of Petronius, located in 1,754 ft of water on Viosca Knoll Block 786.

"Petronius is an important part of our growth plan for the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, which is a focus area of our worldwide upstream strategy," said Robert A. Solberg, president of Texaco Worldwide Upstream Commercial Development. "Texaco worked with Marathon and numerous contractors, most of which are Louisiana-based, to move this $500 million project on a fast-track construction schedule, positioning Petronius to play an important role in helping us achieve our production growth targets."

The Petronius development consists of a compliant tower structure with production and drilling facilities set over six wells. The tower is the first of its kind in the world, says Texaco. It uses flexible piling to provide resistance to hurricane forces.

With the tip of its vent boom more than 2,000 ft above the seafloor, the Petronius platform is the world's tallest freestanding structure, says Texaco. Robert S. Lane, vice-president of Texaco's New Orleans-based Gulf of Mexico producing unit, says Petronius is well-situated as a potential hub for future developments in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

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