Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, and Anadarko Petroleum, one of the largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producers, announced they will partner to develop the deep-water Lucius field in the Gulf of Mexico. Lucius is an Anadarko field discovered by the company in 2009.
Under the terms of the agreement, Texas-based Anadarko (APC) will process natural gas from Exxon's Hardian South natural gas field, which is close to the Lucius field. Exxon announced the Hardrian find last month. Anadarko said it will take a 35% working interest in the unit, which will extend to four blocks in the Keathley Canyon field about 250 miles southwest of New Orleans, according to MarketWatch.
Anadarko said in a statement that expects Lucius to be one of the most profitable projects in its portfolio. Lucius is estimated to contain more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to MarketWatch. Fees Anadarko generates from processing Exxon's Hardrian gas could cover Lucius exploration expenses.
Dow component Exxon Mobil (XOM) will hold a 15% operating interest in Lucius. Analysts expect both Hardrian and Lucius to have start-up dates in 2014, though Exxon has not confirmed that. Exxon is also the largest U.S. natural gas producer.