Anadarko Achieves First Oil at Heidelberg

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. launched oil production from the first three wells at its Heidelberg field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Jan. 14.

Located at Green Canyon Block 859, Heidelberg was discovered in January 2009, and successfully appraised in April 2012, Anadarko said in an announcement. The Heidelberg project, Anadarko’s second major truss spar development in the deepwater Gulf in the past two years, was sanctioned in May 2013. The spar arrived in the U.S. Gulf in October 2014, and topside installation was completed in October of last year.

Located 140 miles southwest of Port Fourchon, La., and 390 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, Heidelberg is estimated to hold between 200 and 400 million barrels of estimated recoverable resources.

Heidelberg, the sister spar to Lucius, can produce 80,000 barrels of oil per day and 80 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. It can operate in a water depth of 5,300 feet. The spar, which is 110 feet in diameter, 605 feet in length, has a topside operating weight of 16,000 tons, and a hull weight of 23,000 tons, can operate in 5,300 feet of water.

In addition to the spar, the Heidelberg development will include six production wells, two drill centers, and dual looped 8-inch flowlines. Additionally, 35 miles of new 20-inch oil export pipeline and 9 miles of new 16-inch gas export pipeline was installed. Oil from Heidelberg will be sent to Port Arthur, Texas; gas from Heidelberg will be sent to the Larose gas processing plant in Port Fourchon, La.

Lucius, which started producing last year, and Heidelberg were built using the “design one: build two” strategy, which Anadarko said enhanced safety and reduced the concept selection and front-end engineering (FEED) stage gate schedule, as well as the amount of engineering resources needed from concept select through detailed design. The strategy also reduced change and regulatory risks, reduced the amount of fabrication resources needed, enhanced schedule efficiencies and increased operational efficiencies and synergies.

The strategy also allowed Anadarko to reach first oil ahead of schedule and under budget, with 6 months from concept selection to the cutting of first steel on the Heidelberg truss spar’s hull and 12 months from concept selection to cutting first steel on Heidelberg’s topsides. By comparison, the concept selection to cutting first steel for the Lucius hull and topsides were 18 and 22 months, respectively. Anadarko was able to reduce the number of fabrication man-hours on the Heidelberg hull and topsides by 18 and 22 percent, and reduced the number of engineering man-hours for the hull and topsides by 19 and 33 percent.

Heidelberg’s hull was built in Pori, Finland. It departed Finland in September 2014, reaching Texas the next month after a 27-day, 7,300 nautical mile voyage.

Anadarko is operator of Heidelberg with 31.5 percent interest. Its partners include Cobalt International Energy with 9.375 percent interest; Eni S.p.A. with 12.5 percent; Exxon Mobil Corp. with 9.375 percent; Freeport-McMoran Inc. with 12.5 percent; Marubeni Oil & Gas USA with 12.75 percent; and Statoil ASA with 12 percent.

According to Anadarko’s website, the company ranks among the deepwater Gulf’s largest independent leaseholders and producers, with over 2 million net acres and seven operated floating facilities, including Lucius, Independence Hub, Constitution, Marco Polo, Red Hawk, Gunnison, Nansen and Boomvang. According to a November 2015 presentation, the company holds around an average 60 percent working interest in around 297 gross blocks, or 169 net blocks.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com

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