From Houston (BN): Chevron has taken the ?rst steps toward deploying an fpu to serve the Buckskin and Moccasin deepwater discoveries near Anadarko’s planned Lucius spar (SEN, 30/7) in the Gulf of Mexico.

As Lucius has attracted new pipelines to this remote, but highly prospective area, it’s probably just the start of a development surge.

WorleyParsons’ Intecsea unit has been hired to do pre-FEED preliminary design for a semi-submersible production unit to produce the two ?nds which aren’t far apart. The job covers deepwater subsea architecture, riser interface and topsides. WP will also oversee a subcontractor who will handle preliminary design of the hull.

LT action

Buckskin (25/22), located 9km west of Lucius, is a four-block project anchored by a 2009 Lower Tertiary discovery in Keathley Canyon 872 about 470km southwest of New Orleans. Chevron operates (55%) for Maersk (20%), Repsol and Sampson (12.5%).

Moccasin (28/12), 19km to the northwest of Buckskin, is centered on KC692, but the 2011 LT discovery was just to the south in KC736. Chevron again operates (43.75%), this time for BP (43.75%) and Samson (12.5% each).

At Buckskin, Chevron in 2011 reported discovering more than 90m net pay at 8,962m tvd in 2,109m. The 2009 Moccasin announcement touted ?nding 85m net pay at 9,615m tvd in 2,060m.

The Lucius spar and topsides are well advanced in construction at Kiewit Offshore’s Ingleside TX yard, with towing of the spar to the KC875 site coming within a few weeks. The production facility and the oil and gas pipelines to serve it are set for startup in the second half of 2014 and are activity magnets.

ExxonMobil already has made arrangements to produce its Hadrian South (28/24) gas ?nd in KC964, two blocks to the southeast, through Lucius and, pending appraisal analysis, is studying a 100,000b/d fpu for its Hadrian North oil find in KC919, which the Lucius spar cannot accommodate.

There has been other drilling or planned drilling around Lucius. Anadarko’s Marcus and Spartacus (KC920 and Walker Ridge 793, respectively) and Statoil’s Bioko (KC698) have yet to produce any positive results to date. Devon, now divested of its Gulf tracts, and its onetime partner Eni have sniffed around the KC613-656-657 complex.

Leasing in the vicinity has been active. At the March Central Gulf sale, ExMob paid more than $115mn for two tracts (KC789 and WR749) near Hadrian, while Maersk had the high bid for Sigsbee Escarpment 37 just to the southwest

More users

The gas and oil pipelines which will serve Lucius are designed to accommodate additional customers.

For gas, Williams and DCP are building the Keathley Canyon Connector, a 346km 20in line linking Lucius to the gas grid at South Timbalier 283. The $600mn, 11bcm system, which regulators approved in February 2013 for startup in mid-2014, also will serve Walker Ridge and Green Canyon.

For oil, Enterprise and Genesis are partnering in the $400mn, 115,000b/d Southeast Keathley Canyon Pipeline. The 240km 18in line, which was approved in 2012 for startup in mid-2014, will link Lucius to the oil grid at South Marsh Island 205. It includes wyes for future connections.

The ‘new’ Moccasin - there was an earlier eponymous find in Garden Banks in the 1990's - originally was won by Texaco at Sale 177 in 2000 with a $331K bonus. BP won KC692 at Sale 187 in 2003 with a bonus of $219K. Ownership and unitisation changes led to the current arrangement. As for Buckskin, Chevron bought all four blocks at Sale 187 in 2003 and later brought in additional partners.