Marathon Turns on the Tap at Camden Hills

Marathon Oil Company announced that the company's Camden Hills field in the ultra-deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico has begun producing natural gas from a new world-record water depth of 7,209 feet. The Camden Hills development, located in Mississippi Canyon Block 348 and approximately 150 miles southeast of New Orleans, is the deepest field in the recently completed Canyon Express gas gathering system that links the Camden Hills, Aconcagua and Kings Peak fields. Camden Hills currently is flowing at a rate of 50 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) from the first of two wells, and is expected to reach peak production of 100 mmcf/d later this month.

Commenting on the announcement, Dave Golder, Marathon Oil Corporation senior vice president of Commercialization and Development, said, "Camden Hills is an outstanding technological achievement that sets a new industry benchmark for oil and gas development in ultra-deepwater. The knowledge and experience we have gained from Camden Hills will prove valuable as we continue to pursue Marathon's deepwater exploration and development strategy in the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Nova Scotia."

Camden Hills consists of two subsea wells with flow lines and control systems that are connected to Canyon Express. Each well is equipped with a wet gas flow meter that allows the amount of gas and liquid production to be monitored constantly. Each subsea well was completed with two gravel-packed intervals and an intelligent well completion system that allows either interval to be produced independently or in a commingled state to maximize reserve recovery.

Camden Hills was discovered in 1999, and the development was sanctioned as part of the Canyon Express gas gathering system. Canyon Express terminates at the Williams-operated Canyon Station platform in Main Pass where all Canyon Express production is processed and then shipped through export lines to the domestic market.

"The Canyon Express system marks a new era of inter-company collaboration in the development of ultra-deepwater fields that individually might not be commercially viable," added Golder. "The Canyon Express participants agreed to share technical resources, design and infrastructure capabilities, and project team experience that has made this system successful." Marathon acknowledged the contributions of its employees and contractors (Cameron, Cheyenne Services, Inc., Kvaerner Oilfield Products, NOVA Technology, Oceaneering International, Schlumberger, SonSub Inc, Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, and WellDynamics) whose commitments were key to this world-record success.

Marathon owns a 50-percent working interest in Camden Hills and serves as operator. Other interest owners are Pioneer Natural Resources (33.3 percent) and TotalFinaElf E&P USA, Inc. (TotalFinaElf) (16.67 percent). TotalFinaElf and BP are operators of the Aconcagua and Kings Peak fields, respectively, and TotalFinaElf operates the Canyon Express gas gathering system.