ExxonMobil, Statoil to Begin Developing Julia Oil Field in Gulf of Mexico

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Exxon Mobil Corp. and Statoil ASA have agreed to begin jointly developing the Julia oil field, estimated to hold nearly six billion barrels of resources, in the Gulf of Mexico.

The companies each own a 50% stake in the field, located about 200 miles south of New Orleans, La., and which is expected to take about three years to develop.

Exxon said capital cost for the project, which is expected to begin oil production in 2016, is estimated to be more than $4 billion.

The field will initially produce 34,000 barrels of oil a day and includes six wells with subsea tie-backs to the Jack & St. Malo production facility operated by Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

Two weeks ago, Exxon reported its first-quarter profit rose slightly compared with last year but its production of oil and natural gas fell for the seventh consecutive quarter on a year-over-year basis.

Shares of Exxon slid seven cents to $91.08 in after-hours trading. The stock is up 7.9% over the past 12 months.

Last week, Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil posted 58% lower first-quarter net profit on the year, missing expectations amid lower production volumes and lower prices.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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