First Gas Flows from Independence Hub

The Atwater Valley Producers Group, consisting of Anadarko Petroleum, Devon Energy, Eni and Hydro, along with the owners of the Independence Hub, Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and Helix Energy Solutions Group report that first production from the record-setting Independence Hub project has been achieved on schedule and within budget.

Located in 8,000 feet of water on Mississippi Canyon block 920, approximately 123 miles southeast of Biloxi, Miss., the Independence Hub is the deepest production platform ever installed and also is the world's largest offshore natural gas processing facility.

Natural gas production through the Hub began on July 19, 2007, from the first of 15 subsea wells located in 10 anchor fields. The producers expect to ramp up production toward the Hub's capacity of 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcf/d) by late 2007.

"The Independence project is a remarkable accomplishment by our industry," Anadarko Chairman, President and CEO Jim Hackett said. "It is a true testament to the collaboration of the partners and the ingenuity of the individuals who worked to deliver these once unreachable resources to American consumers. Together we achieved first production on time and within budget from a world-record-setting facility in an ultra-deep area of the Gulf where previously there was no infrastructure."

First sales were received from the Atlas #1 well located on Lloyd Ridge block 50. The well is expected to ramp up to a rate of approximately 50 MMcf/d over the next week. The block was awarded as a result of Lease Sale 181 in 2001, which opened a new area of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to exploration. Most of the additional 14 wells have been completed and flow-tested -- the majority of which demonstrated flow rates above 50 MMcf/d -- and will be brought on stream one at a time during 2007.

The Independence Hub is a 105-foot, deep-draft, semi-submersible platform with a two-level production deck. The natural gas processed through the Hub when operating at full capacity represents an increase of more than 10 percent in supplies from the Gulf of Mexico. The platform is operated by Anadarko and owned 80 percent by Enterprise and 20 percent by Helix. Anadarko has reserved approximately 61 percent of the capacity on the Hub, Eni approximately 20 percent, Hydro 12.5 percent and Devon 6.5 percent.

The Independence Trail pipeline, 100-percent owned and operated by Enterprise, connects the Hub platform to onshore markets via an interconnect with the Tennessee Gas Pipeline at Enterprise's West Delta block 68 shallow-water manifold platform. The pipeline is approximately 134 miles long, 24 inches in diameter and has the capacity to transport up to 1 Bcf/d.

The Independence project set numerous world records during its construction and installation, which include:

  • The world's deepest platform in approximately 8,000 feet of water
  • The world's deepest subsea production tree in 9,000 feet of water at the Cheyenne field
  • The world's deepest steel catenary riser (SCR) installation
  • The world's deepest export pipeline and SCR, originating in approximately 8,000 feet of water

"We are proud to be associated with this groundbreaking project and all of the individuals whose contributions have set new standards in offshore engineering and technical achievement," said Enterprise President and CEO Dr. Ralph S. Cunningham. "We're confident that Independence will serve as the blueprint for future deepwater development and a model of strong teamwork."

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