ExxonMobil Approves Thunder Horse Project Funding

ExxonMobil has approved funding for its share of the Thunder Horse Development located in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 150 miles southeast of New Orleans.

ExxonMobil owns a 25 percent interest in the development. The Thunder Horse and Thunder Horse North fields that will be developed together are in water depths ranging from 5,800 to 6,500 feet.

The fields will be developed via what will be the world's largest semi-submersible floating production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) unit with a total operating displacement of more than 140,000 tons. Peak production rates are targeted at 250,000 barrels per day of liquids and 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. Up to 20 subsea wells will be located beneath the PDQ unit, with additional subsea wells connected from locations nearby. This unit could recover in excess of a billion oil-equivalent barrels, making Thunder Horse the largest discovery to date in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to oil and associated gas processing capability, the PDQ unit will provide facilities capable of injecting up to 300,000 barrels per day of water.

Fabrication of topsides modules for the PDQ unit is now in progress at a Morgan City, La., yard. Fabrication of the hull and rig is planned to start later this year in Okpo, Korea. Two mobile offshore rigs are currently onsite drilling production wells. The project is scheduled for initial production in 2005.

BP is operator for the project, with a 75 percent interest.