Exxon Mobil to begin developing 'one of the first large discoveries' in ultra-deep Gulf

05 08, 2013 by The Times-Picayune

Exxon Mobil Corp. said Tuesday that it will begin developing "one of the first large oil discoveries in the ultra-deepwater frontier of the Gulf of Mexico," about 265 miles southwest of New Orleans.

Developing the Julia oil field, which was discovered in 2007, is expected to cost more than $4 billion, the company said. Oil production is slated to begin in 2016.

The field is estimated to have nearly 6 billion barrels of oil resources, more than 30,000 feet below the seabed, the Texas-based oil and gas producer said in a statement.

"The development of Julia will provide a new source of domestic energy and well-paying jobs over the next several years," Neil Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Co., said in the statement. "Access to resources such as Julia will contribute to U.S. energy security for many years to come."

ExxonMobil is the operator of the project. It splits a 50-percent interest in the Julia unit with Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC.

ExxonMobil has drilled 36 deepwater wells in the Gulf in the past decade, in water depths ranging from 4,000 feet to 8,700 feet.