HD Hyundai Heavy Industries hands out commissioning deal for Gulf of Mexico FPU to Gate Energy

Houston-based engineering, commissioning, and field services firm Gate Energy has been awarded a commissioning contract by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) for a floating production unit (FPU) destined for Woodside’s 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: Woodside

Gate Energy’s scope of work for the Woodside-operated Trion FPU project includes pre-commissioning and commissioning planning and execution at HHI’s fabrication yard in Ulsan, South Korea. This will take the company offshore Mexico for the first time. As a result, the U.S. player is convinced that this opens new horizons and extends the firm’s reach in the international energy market. The Gulf of Mexico project is expected to have a carbon intensity of 11.8 kg CO2-e/boe over the life of the field. 

Lee Jordan, Gate Energy CEO, commented: “We are excited to build on our prior working relationship with HHI and our footprints in South Korea, Mexico, and the United States to support delivery of the first oil production facility for Mexico’s deepwater acreage in the Gulf of Mexico. This will represent a substantial milestone for Woodside and is a key step in unlocking the full potential of the basin for the Mexican people.”

Woodside previously delayed the final investment decision (FID) for the Trion project from 2022 until 1Q 2023, however, the FID to develop the resource was not revealed until June 2023. Come August 2023, the Australian giant received a stamp of approval from the Mexican regulator, Comision Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH), for the Trion field development plan (FDP). The forecasted total capital expenditure for the project is $7.2 billion out of which $4.8 billion is the firm’s share including capital carry of PEMEX of approximately $460 million. 

Mark Myhre, President of Commissioning at Gate Energy, remarked: “Receiving the commissioning contract for the Woodside Trion FPU project is a remarkable milestone for Gate Energy. This marks the third consecutive HHI-built FPU project awarded to us, demonstrating the trust and confidence that our valued clients place in our capabilities. We take immense pride in the fact that this project will not only deliver exceptional value to HHI and Woodside but will also bring benefit to our dedicated employee-owners.”

Located in a water depth of 2,500 m, approximately 180 km off the Mexican coastline and 30 km south of the Mexico/U.S. maritime border, Trion was discovered in 2012 by PEMEX. BHP Petroleum acquired an interest in 2017, which subsequently became part of Woodside’s portfolio in 2022. The 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.

“Gate Energy remains committed to its core values of safety, quality, and excellence as it embarks on this exciting project. The company is eager to collaborate with HHI and contribute to the success of the Woodside Trion FPU project, setting new industry standards and reinforcing its reputation as a trusted partner in the energy sector,” highlighted the U.S. player.

The Trion development will encompass 18 wells drilled in the initial phase while 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. The FPU will be constructed in South Korea with the first oil targeted for 2028.