08 October 2007
BHP Billiton today announced first oil production from the Genghis Khan development, located in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, approximately 120 miles (192 kilometres) off the coast of Louisiana. The Company, with co-venturers Hess and Repsol YPF, acquired its interest in Genghis Khan in February 2007 for US$1.33 billion ($583 million net to BHP Billiton).
Hydrocarbon production began from a single well connected to a subsea manifold located on Green Canyon Block 652. Drilling has begun on the second well, which will be completed immediately following drilling operations, and then be followed by two additional wells, one of which is slated to test Green Canyon Block 608. Production from these blocks is transported to a third-party owned and operated facility where it is processed and sent via existing pipelines to markets onshore Texas and/or Louisiana. The oil is sold as a blend, commingled with crude oils from other pipeline shippers.
The Genghis Khan development comprises the western flank of the Shenzi structure, which is located on adjacent blocks. The Shenzi project is also in development by the same co-venturers. Water depth is approximately 4,300 feet (1307 meters). BHP Billiton is the operator of both Genghis Khan and Shenzi and holds a 44 per cent interest in the six-block unit (Green Canyon blocks 608, 609, 610, 652, 653 and 654). Hess and Repsol each own 28 per cent.
"The development and production of Genghis Khan provides early learnings and synergy with our Shenzi project and expands our ownership of operated infrastructure in this region," noted J. Michael Yeager, Chief Executive for BHP Billiton Petroleum. "This project allows us to optimise the development of the reserves at Shenzi-Genghis Khan, providing flexibility in selecting well locations, production facilities and the pace of development to capture the most value possible over the expected 25- to 30-year life of the field."
Genghis Khan is one of three fields BHP Billiton has in development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and scheduled for first production during 2007. The Atlantis and Neptune fields, which are also located in the Western Atwater Foldbelt region of the Gulf of Mexico, are expected to commence production by the end of December 2007. Combined, these three projects boost BHP Billiton’s net production in the region to more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day. In the 12-month period ending 30 June 2007, the Company’s production from the Gulf of Mexico averaged approximately 12,000 boe/d.