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Petroleum News: Chevron to build 55-mile oil pipeline to serve deepwater Tahiti field

Chevron to build 55-mile oil pipeline to serve deepwater Tahiti field

Chevron has approved the construction of a 55-mile deepwater oil pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico that would connect the Chevron-operated Tahiti field to the existing Amberjack pipeline for delivery to shore.

Chevron said it also approved expanding the pipeline from a 20-inch diameter to a 24-inch diameter design that can handle 300,000 barrels of oil per day and accommodate additional discoveries in the Walker Ridge and Green Canyon areas.

The company expects to invest a total of $3.3 billion this year in U.S. exploration, development and production projects.

“The Tahiti pipeline positions Chevron for near and long-term sustained production growth in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico,” Gary Luquette, president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production Co., said May 16.

He said the new pipeline would not only serve Chevron’s $3.5 billion Tahiti project but also could facilitate the development of other current and future discoveries.

The 55-mile pipeline will be built by Amberjack Pipeline Co. and owned equally by Chevron Pipe Line Co. and Shell Pipe Line Co.

It would be located in 4,200 feet of water on Green Canyon Block 641, connecting the Tahiti platform, currently under construction, with the existing Amberjack pipeline system and other existing oil pipeline infrastructure on Green Canyon Block 19. The Tahiti project is expected to begin production in 2008, producing a maximum 125,000 barrels of oil per day and 70 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

The Tahiti discovery was announced in 2002 and contains an estimated 400 million to 500 million barrels of recoverable oil, ranking it among the largest oil discoveries to date in the Gulf of Mexico. One appraisal well encountered more than 1,000 feet of net pay in what Chevron described as containing high quality reservoirs.

Chevron operates Tahiti with a 58 percent working interest. Tahiti partners are EnCana with a 25 percent working interest and Shell with a 17 percent working interest.

—Ray Tyson

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