Trion FPU concept image; Source: Wood

Another approval paves the way for development of Woodside’s Gulf of Mexico oil project

Australian energy giant Woodside has tucked a social impact assessment approval under its belt for its deepwater oil project in the Perdido basin in the Gulf of Mexico, located 30 km south of the Mexico-U.S. maritime border.

Trion FPU concept image; Source: Wood

The Mexican Ministry for Energy has given its stamp of approval to Woodside for the social impact assessment of the Trion oil and gas project, which was submitted in May 2023 to provide a comprehensive assessment of the project and outline how the Australian player would manage social impacts.

Matthew Ridolfi, Woodside’s Executive Vice President of Projects, commented: “This approval marks an important milestone on the pathway to developing this nationally significant resource project. We appreciate the ongoing support we have received from the Mexican government for Trion.

“The approval also validates Woodside’s approach to how we engage with communities wherever we work and recognizes our high operating standards. It reflects the excellent work of our technical team, our consultants, and the strong professional relationships we have established with Mexico’s regulatory authorities.”

Furthermore, Ridolfi claims that the social impact assessment will be “a critical tool” in helping manage the project during the construction phase. Trion, which is a greenfield development that would represent the first oil production from Mexico’s deepwater, is located in the Gulf of Mexico at a water depth of 2,500 m, approximately 180 km off the Mexican coastline.

“The development of this comprehensive plan will help us to engage more effectively with local communities and better support their needs as we progress this project from construction to first oil. It also brings forward opportunities for jobs and economic development,” added Ridolfi.

Trion is being developed by Woodside Energy in a joint venture with Pemex. Currently, the first oil is targeted for 2028. The FID for the Trion project was revealed in June 2023. Come August 2023, Woodside received a stamp of approval from the Mexican regulator for the field development plan (FDP).

This project will be developed through an FPU with an oil production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day, which will be connected to an FSO vessel with a capacity of 950,000 barrels of oil. HD Hyundai Heavy Industries recently awarded a commissioning contract for the FPU to Houston-based Gate Energy. 

Wood’s teams in Houston and Bogota, Colombia, will deliver the detailed topside design work for the FPU project over the next three years. The forecasted total capital expenditure for Trion is $7.2 billion out of which $4.8 billion is Woodside’s share including capital carry of Pemex of approximately $460 million. 

While the Trion development will entail 18 wells drilled in the initial phase, a total of 24 wells will be drilled over the life of the project. The gas that is not reinjected or used on the FPU will be delivered to the domestic natural gas network by a subsea gas pipeline.