Oil and gas supermajor ExxonMobil has announced that production has started, and first oil has been achieved, from its offshore Julia field.
The Julia field is located offshore New Orleans, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, with the reservoir itself located at a depth of 30,000 feet below the surface.
Exxon claim that first oil has been achieved under budget and ahead of schedule, and that Julia’s second well will be brought on stream within weeks.
Offshore Julia Starts Production
“Successful deepwater developments like Julia, located more than 30,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, benefit from ExxonMobil’s disciplined project execution capabilities and commitment to developing quality resources using advanced technology,” said Neil W. Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Company.
The Julia development is located approximately 265 miles (412km) southwest of New Orleans in water depths of more than 7,000 feet (2,134m). The initial development phase uses subsea tie-backs to the Chevron-operated Jack/St. Malo production facility, reducing the need for additional infrastructure and enhancing capital efficiency.
Technology has also played a key role in the Julia development including the use of subsea pumps that have one of the deepest applications and highest design pressures in the industry to date.
“This initial production will provide ExxonMobil with insight into the potential future development of the reservoir,” concluded Duffin.
The Maersk Viking drillship is currently drilling a third well in the Julia field, which is expected to come online in early 2017. Production results will assist in the evaluation of additional wells included in the initial development phase, which has a design capacity of 34,000 barrels per day of oil.
Discovered in 2007, the Julia field comprises five leases in the ultra-deepwater Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico.
The development is a joint venture between operator ExxonMobil and Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC, with each holding a 50 percent interest.
Maersk Viking Drillship
The Maersk Viking, is an ultra deepwater drillship, delivered in 2014 by Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje (Koje) Shipyard in South Korea.
Viking has the design capability to operate in a maximum water depth of 12,000 feet (3,658m), and drill to a maximum depth of 40,000 feet (12,192m).