Chevron Corp. said Thursday it would move ahead with plans to develop a multibillion dollar deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico, the first major announcement of a drilling program since the U.S. government lifted its moratorium.
The Obama administration halted deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Plc drilling disaster in April that caused the worst-ever U.S. marine oil spill.
Chevron, the number two U.S. oil company behind Exxon Mobil, said it would develop the Jack and St. Malo projects at a water depth of 7,000 feet about 280 miles off the Louisiana coast.
Initial development of the projects will require about $7.5 billion to construct three subsea centers that will tie back to a hub linking the projects, which lie about 25 miles apart.
The facility will have a capacity of 170,000 barrels per day, the company said.
The Jack and St. Malo fields are estimated to hold a total of 500 million recoverable oil equivalent barrels, the company said.
The fields are in the Lower Tertiary trend, a geological formation that lies below the areas that the industry has typically tapped.
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