Oil production has started under budget and ahead of schedule at the Julia oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico, ExxonMobil announced. The first production well is online, and a second well will start production in the coming weeks.
The Julia development is located approximately 265 miles southwest of New Orleans in water depths of more than 7,000 ft. The initial development phase uses subsea tiebacks 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.
“Successful deepwater developments like Julia, located more than 30,000 ft below the ocean’s surface, benefit from ExxonMobil’s disciplined project execution capabilities and commitment to developing quality resources using advanced technology,” Neil W. Duffin, President of ExxonMobil Development Company, said.
The Maersk Viking drillship is currently drilling a third well, 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 bbl/day of oil.
“This initial production will provide ExxonMobil with insight into the potential future development of the reservoir,” Mr Duffin said.
Discovered in 2007, the Julia field comprises five leases in the ultra-deepwater Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico. ExxonMobil, the operator, and Statoil each hold a 50% interest in the Julia unit. Over the past decade, ExxonMobil has drilled 187 deepwater wells worldwide in water depths ranging from 2,100 ft to 8,700 ft.
ExxonMobil is on track to start up 10 new upstream projects in 2016 and 2017, adding 450,000 oil-equivalent bbl/day of working-interest production capacity.