Exxon Begins World's Deepest Water Drilling/Production Platform for Co-Development of Hoover/Diana Gulf of Mexico Fields

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 13 Sep 2012 08:35

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April 8th 1998

Exxon Corporation (NYSE: XON) announced today that Exxon Company, U.S.A., its domestic oil and gas division, is constructing a project to develop the Hoover and Diana fields in the Gulf of Mexico, 160 miles (258 kilometers) south of Galveston. This is the first development of seven key worldwide deepwater discoveries announced in the last two years. The development utilizes a Deep Draft Caisson Vessel (DDCV) located over Hoover. The project, in 4,800 feet (1,463 meters) of water, will establish a new world water depth record for a drilling and production platform with an associated subsea development. Utilization of surface production trees in this water depth also will be an industry first.

DDCV installation is planned for 1999, with production starting the following year. Hoover and Diana contain estimated recoverable resources exceeding 300 million oil-equivalent barrels. Development costs for the project are currently targeted at about $1.2 billion. Exxon USA is operator of the project with a 66.7 percent interest, while BP Exploration holds the remaining 33.3 percent.

The Hoover discovery, about 15 miles east of Diana, was made in March 1997. The Diana field was discovered in 1990 and successfully appraised in 1997. The Hoover/Diana fields are among ten Exxon-interest Gulf of Mexico discoveries in water depths exceeding 1,350 feet (412 meters) that are in various stages of evaluation, development or production. Including Hoover/Diana, Exxon has 1.6 million acres (gross) under lease in the Gulf of Mexico in water deeper than 1,350 feet.

The DDCV, a catenary-moored steel cylindrical hull, floats vertically and is almost one-half a football field in diameter and 75 stories tall with drilling and production facilities installed. The DDCV production facilities are designed to handle 100,000 barrels per day of crude and 325 million cubic feet per day of gas. New oil and gas pipelines will move the production to shore. The Diana field will be a subsea development with six wells tied back to the Hoover central facility.

This development concept is environmentally sound, cost-effective, and provides considerable flexibility to accommodate future new developments in the area. The Hoover/Diana Project advances deepwater technology in several key areas — such as design and installation of pipelines, risers, and mooring systems.

Exxon's leading edge deepwater technology and Gulf of Mexico experience are being successfully applied to access, explore and develop acreage in new deepwater basins around the world. Testimony to this success is the six announced major deepwater discoveries offshore West Africa. In total, the company has obtained interests in more than 300 deepwater blocks totaling approximately 20 million gross acres in the most prospective frontier areas around the world.

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