Heidelberg platform; Source: Oxy

First oil gushes out of Gulf of Mexico project

Texas-based exploration and production player Beacon Offshore Energy has brought online a two-well oil project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which has been tied back to one of the spar platforms operated by Occidental (Oxy), former Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

Heidelberg platform; Source: Oxy

final investment decision (FID) for the Winterfell discovery, operated by BOE Exploration & Production, was taken in January 2024. The start-up of oil production from this project in the Green Canyon area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico was enabled by the tie-back to the Oxy-operated Heidelberg spar platform.

The partners in the Winterfell project are Beacon Offshore Energy (35.08%), BOE (0.33%), Kosmos Energy (25.04%), Westlawn Americas Offshore (15.0%), Red Willow (12.5%), Alta Mar Energy (7.55%), and CSL Exploration (4.5%).

While explaining that production is ramping up at the initial two production wells of the Winterfell phased development, Beacon’s partner, Kosmos, confirmed drilling operations at the third well were ongoing. Once the third well joins the other two on stream by the end of the third quarter, the gross production from these wells is expected to be around 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

Andrew G. Inglis, Kosmos’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The startup of Winterfell is another significant milestone for Kosmos as we continue to deliver the projects to achieve our growth targets by year-end 2024.

“With high margin barrels, low carbon intensity and a quick expected payback, Winterfell has the right characteristics for Kosmos’ portfolio. Kosmos is eager to continue developing the Greater Winterfell area which we believe has significant future upside potential.”

Encompassing Green Canyon blocks 899, 900, 943, 944, 987, and 988 with follow-on opportunities in adjacent blocks, the Miocene-aged Winterfell field, discovered in 2021, lies in a water depth of approximately 5,400 feet (about 1,600 meters) and has been developed via a 13-mile subsea tie-back to the host platform.

According to Kosmos, delays in subsequent work, following the drilling and completion of the first two wells and subsea hookup in April 2024, resulted in the first oil being achieved slightly later than initially anticipated. The first phase of the development is designed to have five wells in total, which are expected to deliver around 100 million barrels of oil equivalent with upside from subsequent phases.