Looking Forward: Anticipated Production Start-Ups for 2009

Looking beyond oil and gas prices for the coming year, there is a number of anticipated production start-ups planned for 2009. Spanning the globe -- from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the harsh conditions of the North Sea -- the following projects are scheduled to commence production this year.

West Africa: Akpo

Discovered in 2000 in the deepwaters offshore Nigeria, the Akpo oil and gas field development plan includes production, water-injection and gas-injection wells tied to an FPSO. Operated by Total, Akpo is expected to commence production by the end of the first quarter of 2009, and peak production for the field is estimated at 225,000 boepd.

South America: Frade

A heavy oil and gas field situated in the deepwaters offshore Brazil, Frade has recoverable reserves estimated at 200 to 300 MMbo. Operated by Chevron, Frade field development includes subsea wells tied to an FPSO at a total cost of approximately $2.8 billion.

Gulf of Mexico: Tahiti

Located on Green Canyon Block 641, Tahiti is a deepwater oil and gas field being developed through a truss spar. Expected to commence production in the third quarter of 2009, field development costs on Tahiti have been estimated at $3.5 billion. The Chevron-operated project is the fifth largest oil field in the US Gulf of Mexico, according to the Energy Information Association (EIA), with reserves estimated on Tahiti ranging from 400 to 500 MMboe.

North Sea: West Don, Don Southwest

Located in the UK North Sea, the West Don field and Don Southwest fields are operated by Petrofac. Field development on the project included subsea wells tied to a refurbished semisubmersible platform, the Northern Producer, and then tied to the Thistle field facilities nearby. Production is scheduled to commence on both fields in the first half of 2009.